Innovation sparks new product growth at Campbell

by Eric Schroeder
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BOCA RATON, FLA. — Campbell Soup Co. is making good progress on the innovation front, including making investments to fund a new innovation process, accelerating innovation across its portfolio and reinvigorating consumer-focused marketing efforts to restore top-line growth, said Denise Morrison, president and chief executive officer of the Camden, N.J.-based company. Ms. Morrison outlined the company’s efforts at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York conference Feb. 22 in Boca Raton.

“Powered by a relentless focus on the consumer and a radically different approach to innovation, we are extending our product platforms into new mealtime occasions and packaging formats, and responding directly to new consumer expectations,” Ms. Morrison said. “We are focused on rebuilding relationships with our existing consumers and establishing connections to new ones. Simply put, our mission is to reinvent our products and our company for a new era.”

Ms. Morrison said Campbell is creating new products and product platforms based on its consumer insights and aligned with what she described as the “New American Family” — nontraditional, multi-generational, single-parent and multi-cultural.

“Consumers today crave novelty, bolder flavors and foods that help them feel alive, engaged and connected,” Ms. Morrison said. “No company is connected to consumers’ lives quite like Campbell, and we are well positioned to respond to the opportunities that the changing consumer landscape will present over the next decade.”

As part of its revamped innovation process, Campbell initially is focusing on three specific platforms in the U.S. Simple Meals business: soup beyond the can; meals beyond soup; and new meal-maker products.
New products that are set to launch early in the next fiscal year include Campbell’s Go! Soup, which consists of five to six varieties of pouch soups in a broad range of distinctive global flavors, such as coconut curry and Moroccan chicken; and Campbell’s Gourmet Bisques, a new line of aseptically-packaged soups in flavors such as Thai tomato coconut and tomato roasted garlic bacon.

Campbell also plans to extend the Campbell’s Go! platform with a line of meal solutions geared toward younger consumers, and broaden its Campbell’s Slow Kettle brand with more soups, stews, chilis and chowders.

“These new consumer propositions are just the beginning,” Ms. Morrison said. “Our revamped innovation process is designed to enable us to better understand and respond to the drivers of consumer choice, and we’re highly encouraged by the initial ideas that we’ll be bringing to market in the coming season.”

The company also continues to innovate in other parts of the business, including Healthy Beverages and Global Baked Snacks. The company said it will continue to roll out V8 V-Fusion + Energy drinks and, later this year, will introduce V8 V-Fusion Sparkling beverages in slim cans and V8 V-Fusion Kids beverages in juice boxes, as well as a number of new Pepperidge Farm products.

“We’re in the midst of a strategic turnaround, and we’ve made a solid start in advancing the growth strategies we announced last July,” Ms. Morrison said. “Our early efforts give you a sense of the company we’re building under our new leadership team. It’s a company focused outward on consumers and seeking new ways to grow our business around the world. One that’s more innovative, balanced and agile. A company that draws inspiration from its past, but is focused on its future.”

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