KANSAS CITY, MO. — Campbell Snacks, Camden, NJ, holds some of the most iconic snack brands in the business, from Pepperidge Farm’s Milano cookies and Goldfish crackers to Snyder’s of Hanover Pretzels and Kettle Brand chips.
As snack makers gather at SNAC International’s SNAXPO March 19-21 in Orlando, Fla., Campbell Snacks’ Chris Foley, executive vice president and president, shared some thoughts on snack trends, limited-time offerings (LTOs), the industry and what Campbell Snacks has been cooking up lately.
What major snack behavior changes do you see, and how is that impacting new product development and marketing efforts?
The salty snack category continues to be a competitive segment with hot and spicy products driving growth across the category. Flavorful products like Kettle Brand Air Fried Jalapeño and Snyder’s of Hanover Pieces Hot Buffalo Wing are meeting these demands.
We are continuing to see this trend in the cracker category, particularly among Gen Z consumers. The Goldfish Frank’s RedHot collaboration, for example, was a huge hit on social media and earned over 25,000 requests when it was released in 2021. Since the launch, the Frank’s RedHot and Jalapeño Popper, another popular Goldfish LTO, have driven incremental sales of 70% for the Goldfish brand.
Our LTO strategy enables us to continue to shake things up and deliver delicious flavors through exciting collaborations, including Jalapeño Popper, Old Bay, and our newest Goldfish Dunkin’ Pumpkin Spice Grahams, released last year. Our limited-edition approach has generated significant online excitement for the brand.
We’re also continuing to see growing demand for authentic and organic products, which helped to drive growth for our Late July and Kettle Brand chips. This trend comes as no surprise as consumers continue to look for snacks that pack great taste with quality ingredients, and we continue to work with our teams to develop the next product variations and offerings that will exceed their expectations.
What in the snack industry has surprised you over the past year?
I wouldn’t say there were surprises as much as there were macros we wished we didn’t have to plan against. Inflation, supply challenges impinging on cost and availability of our raw materials and ingredients and the looming threat of a recession were all factors we had to plan against. With that said, I believe our teams are well prepared and ready to move with speed and agility. Their ability to work through and around these issues helps us to continue to deliver strong results.
What trends will be guiding product innovation for 2023?
We’ll continue to develop and deliver innovation in three focused areas: twists on the familiar, permissible indulgence and expanded occasions
Which categories does the company see big movement in, and why?
In our second quarter fiscal 2023 earnings (March 8, 2023), Mark Clouse, president and chief executive officer, Campbell Soup Co., highlighted how our Snacks division is demonstrating outstanding momentum. We are No. 1 in both the cookie and cracker and salty snack categories in terms of share growth in the second quarter. This growth continues to be driven by increases in cookies and crackers, primarily Goldfish and, in salty snacks, primarily Kettle Brand and Cape Cod potato chips.
Goldfish continues to be the star of our snacks portfolio and is climbing to our goal of $1 billion in annual sales. It was the largest driver of growth for the entire cracker category with 21% consumption growth.
What new things are Campbell Snacks planning in crackers, pretzels and other snacks?
Our teams are always working to find new ways to meet consumer demand and elevate our game by delivering innovative and amazing food with new products and special twists on familiar favorites.
We kicked off the 2023 calendar year strong and brought back the limited time ultra-popular Goldfish Frank’s RedHot offering in January. This was brought back due to popular demand, and it’s the first time ever we’ve re-released a Goldfish LTO. Later this year, we’re set to bring back three more limited-edition flavors.
For our salty category, we have special LTO planned for spring and Kettle Brand Air Fried chips, just released earlier this year, that are kettle cooked and air finished. We are also doing some big things in the very popular cookie category. These offerings not only continue to meet consumer demand but also drive strong growth in these key categories.
What promotions/contests are coming up with Campbell?
In stores, our latest product displays bring the excitement and energy of March Madness to the shelves. Our teams are always looking to elevate the game for consumers and our basketball themed product displays are big, colorful and eye catching and feature Cape Cod and Kettle Brand potato chips, Late July tortilla chips, and other snacks brands perfect for this time of year.
In February during the NBA All-Star game, Goldfish and NBA star Boban Marjanović — known for having the league’s biggest hands — introduced a limited-edition “Goldfish x Boban Hand Dish.” The 10.75-inch dish holds up to 301 Goldfish crackers and, on March 1 at 3:01 p.m., a special website was launched for consumers to enter a sweepstakes for a chance to win a Boban hand dish.
We also wrapped the 2022 calendar year with a giveaway for Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps. The concept: Pretzel Crisps are so versatile; you’d need a 7-foot board just to accommodate all the possible pairings. So, we made one and offered the chance to win an Extendable Charcuterie Board.