Hazlewood Foods is tipped to appoint McBains to handle advertising for its new Gary Rhodes frozen ready-meal range, Rhodes to Home.
McBains, part of the AMV group, is understood to have pitched against Delaney Fletcher Bozell and, at an earlier stage, Scholz & Friends.
The campaign could include TV advertising supported by the celebrity chef.
Hazlewood refused to confirm the appointment as Marketing Week went to press.
The Rhodes to Home range was launched in April and is currently sold through major supermarkets.
The product represents a departure for Hazlewood Foods, which has traditionally made sandwiches and supermarket own-label food products.
The company sells almost 2 million sandwiches throughout the UK each day. It has a same-day export business to Paris and owns sandwich makers in Germany and the Netherlands. Hazlewood has a number of continental food interests, including a fish marketing business which is also in the Netherlands.
In June, Hazlewood announced pre-tax profits had risen from 37m to 42m in the year to March 31, and underlying volume growth of more than nine per cent.