US food group Campbell Soup Co. is to focus on emerging markets Russia and China and revamp its product range and as part of plans to strengthen and enhance the brand.

Speaking at an investor meeting at its North Carolina plant today (15 July), Campbell management are expected to announce plans to focus on the two countries.

Larry McWilliams, president, Campbell International, will tell investors that it is "confident" the company has the "cultural insights" to build "meaningful relationships" with consumers in each of the two markets.

McWilliams will also describe key initiatives for 2010 in emerging markets, including the launch of an expanded portfolio of products in Campbell's existing Chinese markets with an eye toward geographic expansion in 2011.

The company is also hoping to integrate Campbell's Russian operations with Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Co., Campbell's distribution partner, as well as expanding its Domashnaya Klassika line into national distribution throughout Russia.

The Russian portfolio will increase from three varieties to 14 in fiscal 2010.

Alongside its expansion plans abroad, Campbell is expected to announce a revamp of the company's Chunky soups range.

The soups will feature "better for you" credentials, with the company's iconic tomato soup featuring a sodium reduction of 32%.

Campbell will also reposition "Healthy Request" soups in the heart health space by reducing the sodium levels to 410 mg per serving. Both products will be available from September.

Sean Connolly, president of Campbell US, will outline the company's plans to  introduce five condensed light soups to tap into the fast-growing segment of the category.

He will tell investors: "We are excited about the upcoming year and plan to continue to build momentum within our Campbell USA business by driving growth in our key platforms of simple meals and healthy beverages."

In a statement issued before the meeting, Campbell reiterated its fiscal 2009 guidance.

On a currency neutral basis, Campbell expects growth in adjusted net earnings per share (EPS) to exceed the 5-7% range from the fiscal 2008 adjusted base of $2.09.

The company expects its fiscal 2009 sales, EBIT and EPS growth rates to be negatively impacted by around five percentage points as a result of currency translation.