Campbell Soup Co. today (7 January) praised the "strong track-record" of Symington's, the firm the soup maker has asked to help launch its a range of products in the UK.

This month will see the introduction of Campbell's-branded dry soups, pasta and rice meals in the UK after the two sides signed a production and distribution deal.

Symington's, which makes a range of ambient goods under licence and private-label agreements in the UK, will make products including Cup Soups, Savoury Rice and Savoury Pasta.

A spokesperson for Campbell's business in Europe pointed to Symington's experience in NPD. "We teamed up with Symington's because of their strong track-record developing categories and brands," the spokesperson told just-food.

"Symington's has experience in dry soup and meals and has largely driven the 8.5% growth in the dry soup category during the past year. The dry soup category is worth GBP107m and we are confident from our consumer research that a new, high quality range, has the potential to grow the category."

The spokesperson added: "During consumer research, we found that people thought highly of Campbell's as a food brand, so that gave us the idea to extend into the dry meal categories. Feedback from consumers who have tested these products also has been very positive."

Campbell sells dry soup brands in a number of European markets, including France, Germany and Sweden. The venture with Symington's is Campbell's first significant move since it sold its UK businesses to Premier Foods plc in 2006.