Business Strategies

Campbell CEO: ‘Soup Is Our Middle Name’

By Pan Demetrakakes, Senior Editor

Jun 17, 2019

Campbell Soup is getting back to basics, bringing new emphasis to the soup that has been at the company’s core since its inception, its chief told analysts earlier this month.

“Soup is our middle name,” CEO Mark Clouse said at an investors conference June 13. He revealed plans to increase research and development on the soup line by 50%.

The general strategy, Clouse said, will be to reorient Campbell’s soups to better align with consumers’ desire for healthier and more natural foods. For example, chicken noodle soup will have more chicken meat, fresher noodles and no added preservatives. Campbell also plans to introduce bone-broth products, sicne many consumers believe that the slow-cooked broth has more nutrients than regular broth.

Soup sales have fallen 4% over the past year, with broth gaining but ready-to-eat and condensed soups falling. Overall, the company reported better-than-expected sales for the third quarter, buoyed by gains in the baked goods and snack business.

Clouse, who was named CEO late last year, has generally reversed the strategy of his predecessor, Denise Morrison, selling fresh-food brand Bolthouse Farms and shopping units, like Arnott’s cookies, whose sales are mostly overseas.