Campbell hopes to hit with Hispanic consumers

by Monica Watrous
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CAMDEN, N.J. – As part of plans to reverse a soup slump in the first quarter, the Campbell Soup Co. said it will accelerate several product launches slated for later in the fiscal year.

Among those, the company is introducing its first line of Hispanic-inspired cooking soups.

Originally scheduled to launch at the end of fiscal 2014, the soups now will roll out in the second or third quarter, along with new varieties of Campbell’s Chunky and Healthy Request soups.

Campbell has targeted the Hispanic market with previous launches, including Goldfish Crackers in Queso Fiesta and Kick-It-Up a Nacho varieties and a salsa con queso flavor of Goldfish Puffs. Additionally, the company has added dual-language packaging for some of its Pepperidge Farm products.

Focused innovation has proved promising for Campbell, which saw success last year with the launch of millennial-inspired soups. Campbell’s Go! line was designed to attract younger consumers with on-trend ingredients and bold flavors, such as Moroccan-style chicken with chickpeas, as well as flashy, microwaveable packaging.

“…the Go! soup, the Campbell's Slow Kettle and the Bisques in the box soups are building a premium segment of the soup category,” said Denise Morrison, president and chief executive officer, during a Nov. 19 earnings call with financial analysts. “And we are very encouraged by the growth in that particular segment, and we will continue to build new varieties on that, in those lines this year.”­

During the first quarter ended Oct. 27, the U.S. Soup segment’s sales dropped 6%, with declines in condensed soups and ready-to-serve soups, offset by growth in broths.

“Looking ahead, we expect soup consumption trends to pick up in the balance of the year as consumers respond to effective marketing and promotions, taste improvements and new products as we enter the winter months,” Ms. Morrison said. “In fact, our total U.S. Soup gross sales are up 8% month-to-date in November from the prior year.”
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