Campbell Soup announces biggest change to Chunky range in history

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 16th July 2009

Campbell Soup Company has outlined their innovations for the year ahead, including a Chunky line overhaul, while reiterating plans to grow via emerging markets at an investor meeting overnight.
Craig Owens, Campbell’s Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer, said the company had managed to successful negotiate the worst recession in the US for decades, while performance remained sound in Asia Pacific – where the Arnott’s brand is a strong performer.

“Year to date, fiscal 2009 has been a successful year for Campbell, especially considering the unprecedented upheaval in global financial markets. In our U.S. soup business, we have delivered one of the best top-line performances in many years,” he advised. “We’ve introduced market-leading innovations with the successful launch of several new products, making significant gains in the ready-to-serve segment with our ‘Campbell’s Select Harvest’ line and improving our position in the highly competitive broth segment.”

“Internationally, we have delivered strong performance in Asia Pacific,” he added. “We also have advanced our emerging markets plans by forging a long-term partnership in Russia that will provide access to the best distribution system in Russia for our products.”

U.S. Soup

Denise Morrison, President of their North American Soup, Sauces and Beverages division, described plans to deliver the “most comprehensive series of enhancements” to their Chunky range in its 40-year history. The move will attempt to appeal to the health conscious consumer, with 24 varieties to be made with lean meat and 30 items containing a full serving of vegetables.

They will also slash the sodium content of some of their soups by up to a third.

“We are committed to being people’s first choice for affordable and nourishing meals by continuing to innovate faster, better, more completely and more uniquely than any other company in the category,” Ms Morrison said.

Campbell features three of the top ten shelf-stable grocery food items in America with its condensed soups: Chicken Noodle, Tomato and Cream of Mushroom and they are excited about growth potential amidst an environment where more consumers are looking for at-home meal solutions.

“We are excited about the upcoming year and plan to continue to build momentum within our Campbell USA business by driving growth in our key platforms of simple meals and healthy beverages,” Sean Connolly, President, Campbell USA, added.
Emerging Markets

Larry McWilliams, President, Campbell International reported that the company’s focus on emerging markets would strengthen in the years ahead.

“We see a world of extraordinary value in soup, especially in the emerging markets of Russia and China, which account for nearly 22 percent of the world’s population,” he explained. “The opportunity before us is to commercialise the enormous soup consumption behaviour in these markets. We are confident that we have the cultural insights in each of these markets and can build meaningful relationships with consumers as we have always done the world over.”

ForecastThe impact of currency movements will hurt the bottom line, but, on a currency neutral basis, the company continues to expect to deliver sales growth within its long-term target range of between 3 and 4 per cent.

CEO still in hospital

After a recent car accident, the company’s CEO – Douglas Conant – remains in hospital. He is still in charge of the company, maintaining regular phone contact with senior executives.