Campbell Soup executive weighs in on mega snack market

by Joanie Spencer and Dan Malovany
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Goldfish crackers and Bolthouse Farm carrots
Campbell Soup hopes to expand its U.S. snack sales by marketing traditional and non-traditional snacks.
 

CAMDEN, N.J. — To expand its U.S. snack sales, Campbell Soup Co. wants Goldfish to swim in a much bigger pond with Bolthouse baby carrots, Campbell’s soup and other non-traditional snacks that Americans occasionally consume in between — or instead of — meals throughout the day.

The strategic growth initiative targets the broader $125 billion snacking universe, which includes $89 billion in cookies, crackers and other conventional snacks as well as a $36 billion extended snack category. That mega-snack category is growing at a 3% rate, higher than for traditionally defined snacks, according to the company.

Specifically, Campbell Soup plans to leverage its expertise in snacking from its Pepperidge Farm and Global Biscuit and Snack business by overlaying it across its brands and overall product portfolio to create new “real snack” alternatives, said Carlos Abrams-Rivera, president, U.S. Biscuits and Bakery.

Carlos Abrams-Rivera, Campbell Soup, Pepperidge Farm
Carlos Abrams-Rivera, president, U.S. Biscuits and Bakery
 

The emphasis is on not only snack products but also snacking behavior where a cup of soup serves as a snack, he added.

“We have a lot of knowledge about snacking that until now has benefited mostly our business in Pepperidge Farm,” Mr. Abrams-Rivera told Baking & Snack, sister publication of Food Business News, after unveiling the enterprise-wide snacking development plan during the company’s July 19 annual investors day meeting.

“What we have changed now is not only our incremental spending on kids mindful snacking but also a coordination across the entire company for us to share best practices and how to drive our capabilities across the entire company to drive snacking throughout broader pillars,” he added.

Pepperidge Farm innovation center
Campbell Soup operates an innovation center in Norwalk, Conn.
 

Campbell Soup is assembling a dedicated team that will coordinate with the company’s innovation center in Norwalk, Conn., to pursue new snack products and make them more accessible to consumers. Mr. Abrams-Rivera pointed out the announced initiative not only affects the company internally but also external developments such as partnerships, joint ventures and future merger and acquisition activity going forward. It’s projected to garner $200 million in additional top-line sales over the next five years for Campbell Soup’s U.S. business.

To support the strategic growth plan, Campbell Soup conducted extensive research on consumer snacking habits and how they will affect future innovation in a constantly changing competitive environment.

“What we have learned is that we can better define consumers by the choices that they’re making instead of their age,” Mr. Abrams-Rivera said.

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By Greg Blumpens 8/31/2017 4:06:09 PM
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