Campbell Soup redefining snacks

by Eric Schroeder
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Pepperidge Farm Campbell Soup snacks
Campbell plans to pursue innovation across its snacking platforms.
 

CAMDEN, N.J. — “Encouraged snacks” and “regulated snacks” are two types of snacks fueling the snacking occasion for the Campbell Soup Co., said Carlos Abrams-Rivera, president, Pepperidge Farm.

Carlos Abgrams-Rivera, Pepperidge Farm, Campbell Soup
Carlos Abrams-Rivera, president of Pepperidge Farm

“Encouraged snacks are often touted for the health and well-being benefits,” Mr. Abrams-Rivera told analysts during a July 19 corporate analyst meeting. “They tend to be functionally driven. In our portfolio, think of Arnott’s Vita-Weat crackers that are 100% natural with ancient grains and seeds.

“On the other hand, regulated snacks rely on strong emotional bonds. We call them regulated because we heard from consumers that they look to regulate the amount they consume.”

Campbell Soup Arnott's Vita-Wheat ancient grains and seeds crackers
Arnott’s Vita-Weat crackers with ancient grains and seeds are an example of "encouraged snacks."
 

At the top level of wide consumer snacking, Mr. Abrams-Rivera said Campbell Soup has identified three fundamental needs: fueling, craving and connecting. 

“These three needs captured the benefit and situational context that drive all snacking behavior,” he said.

Mr. Abrams-Rivera explained that fueling demand moments mostly are functionally driven and often occur in the morning, while craving demand moments have a strong emotional motivation for consumers and connecting demand moments are about bonding with others and tend to be emotional in nature.

Pepperidge Farm Farmhouse Thin & Crispy cookies, Campbell Soup
New Pepperidge Farm Farmhouse cookies may fit into the "craving" category for consumers.
 

“Fueling occasions are predominantly ‘encouraged,’ whereas craving needs skew toward ‘regulated’ snacks,” Mr. Abrams-Rivera said. “Connecting needs are fairly balanced between ‘regulated’ and the ‘encouraged’ snacks.” 

By combining the consumer segments with the snacking needs Campbell Soup has been able to create a full demand landscape, he said, one in which the intersection of the segments allows the company to go deep on the specific snack options consumers are choosing today.

“We know their consumption, growth and, most importantly, how satisfied our consumers are with their current snacking alternatives,” he said. “This analysis gives us rich information to create new and unique snacking solutions. It also helps identify which snacks could be replaced if consumers can find a snack with the right benefits.

Kid eating Goldfish cracker, Campbell Soup
Campbell plans to focus on innovation in its "mindful kids snacking" category.
 

“As we assess our capabilities, we looked across the entire value chain, starting with the depth of consumer understanding, our manufacturing expertise, the value throughout the markets we have access to and the myriad of ways we reach our consumers. Not surprisingly, we have a critical and unique capability that can fuel our snacking ambition. Until now, we have thought of those capabilities within each division. Going forward, we will leverage them on behalf of the enterprise toward achieving real food snacks for all.”

Mr. Abrams-Rivera said Campbell Soup will pursue innovation across four platforms: mindful kids snacking, purposeful fueling, adventurous snacking and better-for-you social snacking. At the top of the list in fiscal 2018 is mindful kids snacking, he said.

”Over time, we will continue to change the allocation of resources for each of these four platforms as we look to further drive profitable growth for Campbell,” he said. “Our snacking ambition will not only shape a company-wide internal strategy, it will also play out role in our own external development strategies. M.&A., partnerships and joint ventures can allow us to gain critical and complementary capabilities, further access to emerging channels and bringing brands that can uniquely play in specific snacking moments.” 

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