Campbell Soup Co. said it will continue to drive nutrition and wellness advancement for its products as part of three new initiatives planned for the coming year.
Addressing analysts at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York (CAGNY) conference today (18 February), Douglas Conant, Campbell’s president and chief executive officer, said that the group will expand its lower sodium soups in a bid to drive “wellness” across its entire range.
“Corporate social responsibility has become heightened in the current environment. Now we intend to set our sights higher,” Conant said.
“We are lifting the entire category to new heights. Our innovations in soup are making a food that is already nourishing even better for consumers and more compelling for customers. This is especially important now as consumers are … trying to stretch their food budgets.”
Of the initiatives, Campbell said it plans to bring the sodium content in its tomato soup down by 32% to the “healthy level” of sodium (defined by the US government as 480 mg per serving). The soup is expected to be available in August.
In addition, the company’s Healthy Request soups will undergo further sodium reduction from 480 mg sodium to 410 mg sodium per serving.
The final initiative will involve the removal of MSG from its “top-selling” varieties of Swanson Broth and the introduction of five new varieties to its MSG-free line of Campbell’s Select Harvest soups.
Conant said there were “enormous growth opportunities” for Campbell to exploit, with the possibility of improving profit by 70% in the next ten years.
In particular, Conant said the company was positioning itself for decades of growth in emerging markets China and Russia.
“Both offer attractive long-term growth prospects. We are confident we can do this profitably over time.”
Conant added that this year, the company’s investment for these markets was around 10c a share.
“We are spending on refining and testing our products and ensuring all of our strategies are sound. These are sobering times for everyone but we remain optimistic in our ability to win with our portfolio.”