The Campbell Soup Company continues to be a bit of a rebel in the food industry, stirring the pot in recent months by being one of the first companies to back GMO labeling and advocating the removal of BPA from its can linings. To continue this strategy, unlock its purpose and forge future growth, Campbell President and CEO Denise Morrison outlines four strategic imperatives to strengthen business:
- Elevate trust through real food, transparency and sustainability
- Build digital and e-commerce capabilities
- Continue to diversify Campbell’s portfolio in health and well-being with fresh, organic and healthful foods
- Expand Campbell’s presence in developing markets.
“Over the last five years, we’ve taken a number of bold steps to reposition the company for not just profitable, but sustainable growth,” Morrison says. “Our progress has been methodical. We’ve improved our company and shifted our center of gravity. But we have higher aspirations for the food we make, the role we play in people’s lives and improving our growth trajectory. That’s why it’s necessary to continue to relentlessly improve ourselves, our food, our business and our culture to further differentiate Campbell and to forge a meaningful and lasting place in the lives of new generations of consumers.”
One of the ways the company looks to achieve this is to elevate transparency. Campbell outlines how its real food philosophy is changing how it thinks and acts about its food, helping to restore consumers’ connection to food and supporting the company’s goal to set the standard for transparency in the food industry. “We believe real food should be made with recognizable, desirable ingredients from plants or animals. It should be responsibly crafted using ethical sourcing and sustainable practices that safeguard natural resources. Lastly, it should always be delicious, safe and available at a fair price—all three without compromise,” Morrison says.
Recently, the company has undergone a fundamental shift in how it thinks about food and the way it operates. Campbell has developed a scorecard called Campbell’s Real Food Index to track progress against its ingredient commitments, such as plans to remove artificial colors and flavors from its North American products by the end of 2018. The Index can be found on www.whatsinmyfood.com.
Campbell also says it will use only antibiotic-free chicken in its products, a shift that will be implemented over the next few years.
The company also plans to expand its offerings in the faster-growing health and well-being space with a focus on key growth areas, such as packaged-fresh innovation and expanding organic and clean label offerings.
Outside the US, Campbell is looking to expand its presence in developing markets. Luca Mignini, president, global biscuits and snacks, highlights Campbell’s strategy to capture a bigger piece of the growing snacks market by expanding its brand footprint across faster-growing channels and geographies, particularly in Asia. In China, Campbell intends to increase marketing efforts behind its Kjeldsens brand in its key markets of Shanghai and Guangdong province while expanding its distribution in key regions in the East and adding distributors in the South. The company plans to build its e-commerce capabilities in China to extend the Kjeldsens brand of butter cookies as well as to launch Tim Tam biscuits and Goldfish snack crackers.