These are difficult times for Campbell's, which is struggling through lower consumption of canned soups and changes in consumer lifestyles and tastes. The company's traditional condensed soups in red-and-white cans may be iconic, but they also may seem old-fashioned to Millennial buyers who seek spicier flavors and either speedier preparation or fresh, home-made meals.
Those accustomed to microwave meals or add-boiling-water noodle soup may not necessarily be interested in other types of soups. And the growing interest in home-made meals--fueled, in part, by the foodie culture, including food and cooking programs, web sites, blogs, and more--is also eroding sales of canned foods. Yet convenience is an important factor: canned soup is shelf-stable, quick and easy to make on the stove or in the microwave.
The Chunky line of soups target men, in particular, which is why Campbell's has a sponsorship relationship with the NFL. Above, a photo of Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks and his mother, who appear in "Mama's Boy" TV commercials for Chunky soup; among other NFL players and their moms who appear in Chunky commercials are Demarcus Ware of the Dallas Cowboys and Todd Heap of the Baltimore Ravens.
Campbell is introducing hundreds of new products each year to find the most appealing and enduring. It's also diversifying its product portfolio through acquisitions, as part of its marketing plan to reverse weak results.
Meanwhile, Campbell of Canada is updating the look of its heat-and-eat soup labels to stand out on the shelf and communicate contents to busy shoppers. The label redesign was based on eye-tracking research and is intended to "sell from the shelf" as part of the marketing plan.
“The number one objective is breaking through and being very distinct at
shelf-level and having the consumer be able to either very quickly find
the variety they’re looking for, or discover a new variety,” explains the senior director of marketing.