Campbell to reduce sodium in soups and beverages

by Staff
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CAMDEN, N.J. — Campbell Soup Co. on Wednesday launched a major initiative to reduce sodium in its soups and beverages. As part of the move, the company will offer new versions of its top-selling soups and reformulate some of its existing soups and beverages with less sodium.

The reduction efforts will utilize a unique, all-natural sea salt to help lower sodium by at least 25%, directly impacting one-third of Campbell’s soup volume in the United States.

Campbell’s has introduced additional versions of its chicken noodle, tomato and cream of mushroom soups and has reformulated 12 of its condensed soup varieties, including Campbell’s Double Noodle and Campbell’s Chicken and Stars soups, all with 25% less sodium.

The company also has created four new Campbell’s Chunky Healthy Request ready-to-serve soup varieties with, on average, 45% less sodium.

Along with the sodium reduction the company also will introduce one new condensed Campbell’s Healthy Request soup and two new varieties of Campbell’s Chunky Healthy Request ready-to-serve soups.

In keeping with the criteria for "healthy" foods, all Campbell’s Healthy Request soups contain 480 milligrams of sodium or less and 3 grams of fat or less per serving.

All new soup products will be available in retail stores in August.

The company also has made plans to reduce sodium in V8 100% vegetable juice early in the 2007 fiscal year from the current 590 milligrams of sodium per 8-oz serving to 480, the level at which foods may qualify to be labeled "healthy."

Campbell leveraged its ongoing research into flavor blending options to reformulate the products. The majority of V8 multi-serve varieties, including original V8, will be eligible to be advertised as "healthy" foods. Low Sodium V8 will continue to be offered at 140 milligrams of sodium per 8-oz serving.

"Wellness is a critical component of our corporate strategy and our portfolio is well-positioned to meet consumer demand for convenient, high quality, nutritious food," said Douglas R. Conant, president and chief executive officer of Campbell. "As part of our overall wellness commitment, over the past five years we have significantly stepped up Campbell’s long-standing efforts to reduce sodium levels in our soups and beverages.

"The initiatives we’ve announced today represent a breakthrough in our sodium reduction work and our commitment to offering consumers more choices without asking them to compromise on great taste. Our portfolio already includes a number of nutritious options, whether people are watching calories, fat, or want more vegetables in their diet. Offering more soups at lower sodium levels enhances soup’s appeal to consumers and represents an important growth opportunity for Campbell.

"We also see potential for additional significant sodium reduction in the future, using all-natural, lower sodium sea salt and other tools under development. We’re excited about the progress we’re making in our development efforts, although we recognize there is more work to do to reach our total reduction goals.

"We have revitalized our U.S. soup business through our investment in new products such as Campbell’s Soup at Hand and convenient new packaging, such as microwavable bowls; enhanced the quality of our condensed and ready-to-serve soups and increased the effectiveness of our marketing programs. This sodium reduction initiative adds another important element to our comprehensive revitalization work."

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