CAMDEN, NJ. – Three pillars support the Campbell Soup Co.’s snack innovation strategy – twists on the familiar, permissible indulgence and expanded occasions.
“We selected these three spaces based on our research, reflecting consumers' insights, growth rates, size of prize and our unique right to win,” said Valerie J. Oswalt, president of Campbell Snacks, during a presentation at Campbell Soup’s Dec. 14 virtual investor day.
The twists on the familiar pillar focuses on consumer demand for variety. In 2021, new products that offered consumers more variety included limited-edition Pepperidge Farm Goldfish with Frank’s RedHot sauce and Jalapeño Popper Goldfish crackers. The company also is expanding the Goldfish brand with the introduction of Goldfish Mega Bites.
“We took what people love about Goldfish and made a bigger, bolder, cheesier Goldfish,” Ms. Oswalt said. “Our Mega Bites platform will reach a new audience.”
The permissible indulgence pillar will include both sweet and savory snacks. On tap for the coming year are chocolate Milanos from Pepperidge Farm, three new flavors of Late July snacks, and Pretzel Crisps Bites.
Ms. Oswalt noted the chocolate Milano is the first chocolate cookie under that brand. The new Late July flavors include nacho, garden ranch and Mexican street corn.
“These flavors deliver the same organic credentials Late July is known for with strong natural claims front and center of the packaging design that addresses the craving need in the natural and organic tortilla category,” Ms. Oswalt said.
The expanded occasions pillar reflects consumer expectations that their preferred snacks will be easy to find, in the right pack size and formulated to fit their lifestyle. Ms. Oswalt pointed to innovation in pretzels as an example of how the company is capitalizing on expanded occasions.
“In the pretzel aisle, flavors are growing four times faster than unflavored,” she said. “So, in early 2020, we doubled down on our flavors.”
The result was the introduction of Twisted Pretzel Sticks introduced under the Snyder’s of Hanover brand.
“Twisted Pretzel Sticks were made using a different technology and approach to flavor,” Ms. Oswalt said. “Our pretzel team also brought this product to market in weeks, not months, using our insights engine and agile approach to innovation.
“In addition to our flavor innovation, we have applied price pack architecture to the pretzel platform to capitalize on the larger sizes that are driving growth in pretzels.”
Now the company is bringing this approach to its Snack Factory brand.
“We’re taking flavor growth and applying it to the deli with Snack Factory Bites, a new occasion of hand-to-mouth munching versus dipped or topped Pretzel Crisps,” Ms. Oswalt said.
During the investor day presentation, Ms. Oswalt emphasized that the snacking occasion is growing and is projected to continue growing. Citing data from the market researcher Mintel, she said 78% of consumers believe snacking can be a part of a healthy diet and that 69% of consumers want snacks that balance health and taste.
“Our goal is to ensure that our snacks are everyday premium or elevated,” she said. “And while we are elevated, we are not exclusive. We want to be accessible whenever and wherever people need us within arm's reach.”