Campbell baking, snacking has 'consistent growth'

by Eric Schroeder
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BOCA RATON, FLA. — The baking and snacking business at Campbell Soup Co. has been “a story of consistent growth,” led by acquisitions, new product launches and effective communication with consumers, said Douglas R. Conant, president and chief executive officer of Campbell. Mr. Conant spoke Feb. 17 at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York conference in Boca Raton.

Innovation and wholesome products have been perennial growth drivers within the Pepperidge Farms’ portfolio of Campbell, a strategy that remains intact heading into 2010, Mr. Conant said.

“The launch last year of Deli Flats could prove to be one of the biggest innovations in bakery since our successful launch of whole grain breads,” he said. “Another important Pepperidge Farm launch last year was Tim Tam cookies. This is one of the consummate icon brands in Australia, and the launch of Arnott’s Tim Tam cookies in the U.S. has resulted from an ever increasing coordination between our two world-class baking and snacking operations. This coordination effort will continue to yield very positive results.”

Arnott’s, which Mr. Conant described as the most recognized umbrella food brand in Australia, generates annual net sales of more than $500 million. The brand benefited from the launch last year of Tim Tam White.

“This proved to be the most successful cookie launched in the last eight years and exceeded Arnott’s expectations by a very wide margin,” Mr. Conant said of Tim Tam White.

In the cracker aisle, Campbell continues to get a boost from Goldfish. Net sales of the brand grew 11% in 2009, and since 2006 sales have climbed $100 million, making it one of the top three cracker brands in the United States, Mr. Conant said.

“The three drivers of this growth have been highly effective communication to kids, a wholesome positioning and consistent product innovation,” he said. “This continued last year in the successful launch of Goldfish Grahams.”

The final component driving consistent growth in the baking and snacking business has been acquisitions. Mr. Conant said the acquisition of artisan bread baker Ecce Panis early last year broadened Campbell’s portfolio into a fast-growing segment while opening up new opportunities for growth.

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