Campbell Soup Co. on Feb. 22 announced a major initiative to reduce sodium in its soups and beverages. The company will offer new versions of its top-selling soups and reformulate some of its existing soups and beverages with less sodium. All new soup products will be available in retail stores in August.
The reduction efforts will utilize a natural sea salt to help lower sodium by at least 25 percent, directly impacting one-third of Campbell's soup volume in the United States. Campbell is the world's largest soup company, with soup accounting for nearly half of the company's annual $7.5 billion in sales.
The company's sodium reduction initiatives include:
- Introducing additional versions of its three top-selling soups in the well-known red and white can "Campbell's" Chicken Noodle, Tomato and Cream of Mushroom soups each with 25 percent less sodium;
- Reformulating 12 "Campbell's" condensed soup varieties having special kid-appeal with 25 percent less sodium, including Double Noodle and Chicken and Stars soups;
- Introducing four "Campbell's Chunky Healthy Request" ready-to-serve soup varieties with up to 45 percent less sodium than regular varieties;
- Reformulating the "Campbell's Healthy Request" line of reduced-sodium soups, which contain, on average, 45 percent less sodium than regular varieties, by incorporating all-natural, lower-sodium sea salt;
- Expanding the current nine-item "Campbell's Healthy Request" line to include two new ready-to-serve soups in microwavable bowls and one new condensed variety.
In keeping with the criteria for "healthy" foods, all "Campbell's Healthy Request" soups contain 480 milligrams of sodium or less and 3 grams of fat or less per serving.
"Wellness is a critical component of our corporate strategy and our portfolio is well-positioned to meet consumer demand for convenient, high quality, nutritious food," said Douglas R. Conant, Campbell's president and CEO. "As part of our overall wellness commitment, over the past five years we have significantly stepped up Campbell's long-standing efforts to reduce sodium levels in our soups and beverages. The initiatives we've announced today represent a breakthrough in our sodium reduction work and our commitment to offering consumers more choices without asking them to compromise on great taste. Our portfolio already includes a number of nutritious options, whether people are watching calories, fat, or want more vegetables in their diet. Offering more soups at lower sodium levels enhances soup's appeal to consumers and represents an important growth opportunity for Campbell.
"We also see potential for additional significant sodium reduction in the future, using all-natural, lower sodium sea salt and other tools under development. We're excited about the progress we're making in our development efforts, although we recognize there is more work to do to reach our total reduction goals," Conant continued. "We have revitalized our U.S. soup business through our investment in new products such as 'Campbell's Soup at Hand' and convenient new packaging, such as microwavable bowls; enhanced the quality of our condensed and ready-to-serve soups and increased the effectiveness of our marketing programs. This sodium reduction initiative adds another important element to our comprehensive revitalization work."
Conant discussed Campbell's sodium reduction plans with analysts and investors at the annual meeting of the Consumer Analysts Group of New York in Scottsdale, Ariz.
The company also announced plans to reduce sodium in "V8" 100% vegetable juice, the leading vegetable juice in the United States, early in the 2007 fiscal year from the current 590 milligrams of sodium per 8-ounce serving to 480, the level at which foods can qualify to be labeled "healthy." Campbell leveraged its ongoing research into flavor blending options to reformulate the products. The majority of "V8" multi-serve varieties, including original "V8," will be eligible to be advertised as "healthy" foods. Low Sodium "V8" will continue to be offered at 140 milligrams of sodium per 8-ounce serving.
V8 juices are already known for their nutrition profile. One 8-ounce serving provides two full servings of vegetables, a good source of potassium, two grams of fiber, and antioxidants like lycopene and vitamins A and C.
For more information on the company, visit Campbell's website at www.campbellsoupcompany.com. For more information about Campbell's current reduced-sodium options, visit Campbell's Center for Nutrition & Wellness (CCNW) at www.campbellsoup.com.