CAMDEN, N.J. — The Campbell Soup Co.’s decision to shift its portfolio toward faster-growing categories means a different look, and taste, for a number of its popular grain-based foods products. Changes include the removal of high-fructose corn syrup from certain bread, as well as whole grain and organic wheat versions of Goldfish crackers.
In a July 22 investor day conference call, Luca Mignini, president of Global Biscuits and Snacks, outlined the changes in store for the company as it looks to improve its growth and profitability in the United States. Specifically, he pointed to a plan that has Campbell channeling resources into a three-pronged strategy for its Pepperidge Farm brand.
|Luca Mignini, president of Global Biscuits and Snacks for Campbell.|
“First, we will increase market share by focusing investment on two priority brands,” Mr. Mignini said. “Our Goldfish team will increase investment in our successful Goldfish marketing campaign as well as expand its whole grain line to include new flavors such as pretzel, honey, and cinnamon. We also plan to launch three flavors of Goldfish made with organic wheat — Cheddar, Parmesan and Original.
“Leveraging the strides we made in the digital space, our Milano team will launch and enhance the integrated marketing campaign to better connect with our consumer.”
The company’s second strategy will center on fueling momentum in the Pepperidge Farm fresh bakery portfolio by investing in the Farmhouse brand. New bread, buns and roll varieties are planned for the Farmhouse brand, Mr. Mignini said.
The third strategy will require Pepperidge to apply disciplined focus to its innovation program by building a smart pipeline and leveraging global R.&D. capabilities to create consumer driven innovation. Mr. Mignini said the company’s innovation centers in the United States and Australia will work more closely together as part of the effort.
Campbell already has been using its combined scale and capabilities to expand the Tim Tam brand. A popular brand in Australia, Tim Tam was introduced into U.S. markets in January. Mr. Mignini said the company is finding success in the venture where it previously faltered.
“We have tried in the past to introduce this classic Australian product to the U.S. market but encountered supply and distribution issues,” he said. “Now, as a unified team, with a line objective, we are leveraging the combined power of our Arnott’s manufacturing capabilities and our Pepperidge Farm sales and marketing resources. We are very pleased with the result today. We are currently selling in Target stores with sales and velocity exceeding our expectation. Our plans for fiscal 2016 would include expanding to three additional retailers. We’ll also look for opportunity to potentially introduce U.S. product into Australia and extend our Kelsen presence into the northern and western Chinese provinces.”
Also during the conference call, Denise Morrison, president and chief executive officer of Campbell, spoke at length about the company’s effort to ramp up the information it provides to consumers about the ingredients used in its products. To that end, the company unveiled a new web site that may be accessed by visiting www.whatsinmyfood.com.
“As we transform our marketing efforts and connect with consumers, we will continue to engage people in an open and authentic way to gain understanding about the ingredients and issues they care about,” Ms. Morrison said. “We believe it is the right thing to do for consumers, who have an increasing appetite and expectation for this type of candid discussion.”
The whatsinmyfood web site will provide detail on several of Campbell’s brands, including condensed soups, Slow Kettle, Healthy Request and dinner sauces. The company said it will expand the number of U.S. brands included during the next year and will add global brands during the next three years. Pepperidge is one of the brands expected to be affected by the shift in strategy.“By the end of fiscal 2018, we’re planning to eliminate all artificial colors and flavors of our products in North America,” Ms. Morrison said. “The vast majority of our products no longer use high-fructose corn syrup. And based on consumer feedback, we plan to remove this ingredient from more of our products, including our complete line of Pepperidge Farm fresh breads as well as several of our soup varieties, and that’s just the beginning.”