US-based food giant Campbell Soup Co. is all set for its first foray into the convenience-meals category with Campbell's Supper Bakes. Several food industry observers are questioning the chances of survival of the new product however, and have pointed out that Campbell's continued attempts to innovate around its flagship high-margin condensed soup product have been no picnic.

Prepping potential consumers of the product, a spokesman from the Campden, NJ, company said: "This really addresses the mom who wants to make something better with her family. The meals have a true homemade taste."

Campbell undoubtedly believes that the new meal options are a way to leverage its core soup brand and expand its presence on the grocery store shelves. The product is plagued with pitfalls however, not least its failure to fully address the brief of the convenience food niche. While Campbell's rivals have concentrated on keeping preparation time down to somewhere between 15 and 25 minutes, package to plate time for Supper Bakes takes 35 minutes. Extra minutes are money for the convenience food consumer
Finally, in an example of poor timing that could prove to be the nail in the coffin for the product, Campbell's Supper Bakes are due for their supermarket launch in July. Market watchers are quick to point out that warm summer months are no time for innovative baking products.

To read this week's editorial, which focuses on new product development and discusses why so many products fail, please click here.