Company Launches New Line of Ready to Serve Soups; Also Unveils Consumer Friendly Easy Open Packaging

Campbell Soup Company (NYSE: CPB) today announced the most comprehensive new product and packaging initiatives in its history, designed to make its world-famous soups more convenient for consumers and reinvigorate its core soup business. The new initiatives include:

New Ready to Serve Soups: The new line-up of “Campbell’s” Ready to Serve Classics represents a breakthrough in convenience for America’s favorite varieties like Chicken Noodle and Tomato, which will now be available in a new ready to serve format. Five additional varieties will be offered, including Creamy Tomato, Minestrone, Alphabet Vegetable, Bean with Bacon, and Chicken with Rice. Today, “Campbell’s” brand soups currently enjoy almost 90 percent household penetration in the U.S. and the Company’s three biggest sellers — Chicken Noodle, Tomato, and Cream of Mushroom — are among the top five shelf-stable food items purchased in U.S. grocery stores.
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(Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20000517/PHW014-< )
Easy-Open Packaging: Campbell unveiled new easy-open lids for all its ready to serve soups, including the new line of “Campbell’s” Ready to Serve Classics. The easy-open packaging is the first ever in the branded soup category in the U.S. and will cover 70 Campbell varieties, including soups in the company’s “Chunky” and “Select” lines. The new packaging will begin appearing on store shelves in July.
“Campbell’s Red & White” condensed soups: Campbell announced the introduction of Tomato Noodle, which was successfully launched in the Australian market in the last year. The new soup will appeal to the entire family, because it combines the goodness of “Campbell’s” Tomato soup with the fun associated with noodles. Campbell also announced a major enhancement of its famous Chicken Noodle soup, saying it will add 20 percent more chicken meat to the recipe. “Campbell’s” Chicken Noodle is the single largest selling dry grocery item in U.S. grocery stores.
“Campbell Soup Company has a stable of powerful brands and none is more powerful than our `Campbell’s’ soup brand,” said F. Martin Thrasher, President – North America Soup and Sauce. “The initiatives announced today reflect our strategy to invest in our core soup brands by enhancing their points of difference to consumers. The new `Campbell’s’ Ready to Serve Classics are a perfect complement to Campbell’s condensed varieties that have been enjoyed by consumers for generations. Making our great soups even more convenient is a key element of our soup strategy.”

Today’s initiatives are the result of extensive consumer research and test market feedback. “Consumer reaction to these new platforms and packaging has been very positive,” said Thrasher. “We know that almost half of consumers say convenience is the number one reason behind their food purchase decision. In test market, the convenience of our easy-open packaging appealed to consumers, and we experienced increased sales volumes from both new and existing household customers for our ready to serve soups. Each of these initiatives is intended to make our soups more easily and frequently enjoyed.”

In addition to new ready to serve soups and easy-open packaging, Campbell also announced several new products, including:

“Campbell’s Red & White” cooking soups: Two high-flavor cooking soups, Cream of Chicken Dijon and Tomato with Roasted Garlic & Herbs will be introduced in the fall. Roasted garlic is the most popular new flavor option in red sauces, while the new Cream of Chicken Dijon is the first Dijon flavored cream soup.

“Campbell’s Chunky” soups: A new line of Grilled American Classics will be introduced — Grilled Chicken with Vegetables and Pasta and Grilled Sirloin with Hearty Vegetables bring home the taste of the American grill. Campbell also announced that current Superbowl MVP Kurt Warner of the St. Louis Rams will join the Denver Bronco’s Terrell Davis as a “Chunky” soup spokesman. All “Chunky” varieties will feature the new easy-open lid.

“Campbell’s Select” soups: Two new chicken varieties: Grilled Chicken with Sundried Tomatoes & Mushrooms and Roasted Chicken with Long Grain & Wild Rice will be introduced. All Select varieties will feature the new easy-open lid.

All of the new varieties are expected to be available in stores beginning in late summer, with consumer marketing support beginning in the fall.

The Company emphasized its intention to continue building on its new product development efforts. In the past year Campbell introduced “Campbell’s Soup To Go” microwavable, single-serve soups as well as three varieties of “Campbell’s” Ready to Serve Tomato soups in 32-ounce resealable plastic containers.

Forward Looking Statement

This release contains certain forward-looking statements concerning the Company’s operations, economic performance and financial condition, including, among other things, statements relating to consumption trends, new product introductions, productivity gains and cost savings programs, and sales, earnings, and volume growth. These statements reflect the Company’s current plans and expectations. They rely on a number of assumptions and estimates that could be inaccurate and which are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause the Company’s actual results to vary materially from the results anticipated.

About Campbell Soup Company

Campbell Soup Company is the world’s largest maker and marketer of soup. The Company’s soups are sold under the global “Campbell’s” brand, as well as “Erasco” in Germany and “Liebig” in France. Among its other strong food brands are “Pepperidge Farm” cookies and crackers, “V8” and “V8 Splash” juices, “Pace” Mexican sauces, “Prego” pasta sauces, “Swanson” broths, “Homepride” sauces in the United Kingdom, “Arnott’s” biscuits in Australia, and “Godiva” chocolates around the world.