Campbell lowers sales estimates, outlines soup plans

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 18th February 2010

Campbell Soup Co. today (17 February) trimmed its forecast for annual sales and outlined plans to take its US soup business forward.Ahead of its presentation at the CAGNY consumer goods conference in Florida today, Campbell said it was still expecting growth of 6 to 7% and adjusted net earnings per share growth of 9 to 11% from the fiscal 2009 adjusted base of $2.21.

However, the company revised its fiscal 2010 guidance for sales growth to 2.5 to 3.5% from the prior range of 4 to 5%.

Regarding its US soup business, Campbell said it planned to “enhance” more than 60% of its condensed line with product improvements, further cuts in sodium, more contemporary packaging and new marketing aimed at the simple meals category.

President and CEO Douglas Conant said: “We are committed to accelerating the performance of our existing portfolio, most notably in US soup, and continuing to lay the foundation for superior long-term growth. We are going to fire up our important condensed soup business and step up the competitive posture of our ready-to-serve products to accelerate both our top- and bottom-line growth.”

Conant continued: “With the improvements and innovations we’ve made over the past several years and our plans for next year, we will be able to unleash soup’s full competitiveness against the simple meals category. We are now in a position to reframe the way we compete in the broader simple meals category.

“Our new marketing efforts will further position soup as a key part of a healthy, well-balanced simple meal and help consumers make more informed choices.”

The new soups will be available at retail in August.

just-food is the world’s leading portal for the global pre-packaged food and retail industries. Its daily mix of breaking news, views, analysis and research serves over 100,000 food executives each month.