Blog: Dean BestGodiva sale to herald Campbell soup push

Dean Best | 10 August 2007

Campbell Soup Co.’s decision to consider the sale of upmarket chocolate business Godiva is likely to mean one thing – the US group is going all guns blazing into Russia and China.

The company has admitted it is mulling the future of Godiva, a brand it has owned for 40 years.

Campbell boss Doug Conant even admitted that Godiva has been “a strong performer” but insisted the brand doesn’t fit with the company’s focus, a strategy that centres on more “everyday” products

A brand with such a well-known, premium image in the minds of consumers is likely to command a hefty price tag – and Campbell would love to plough that cash into its offensive into Russia and China.

Campbell has embarked on an ambitious bid to tap into Russia and China, the world’s two largest soup markets. The sale of Godiva will no doubt give Campbell the money to invest in distribution in these two vast markets, as well as marketing its products to Russian and Chinese consumers, well-versed in their own soup-eating traditions.

Last month, Larry McWilliams, the head of Campbell’s international business, told just-food that the Russians and Chinese are “very emotionally involved in soup”.

Campbell’s apparent readiness to sell Godiva shows where the US group’s emotions lay.


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