CAMDEN, N.J. — Campbell Soup Co. is discontinuing its V8 Protein line of shakes and bars a little over a year after the product range was launched.
|Denise Morrison, president and c.e.o. of Campbell Soup Co.|
“Our key learning was that these shakes and bars were not differentiated enough to succeed in a crowded and competitive space,” said Denise Morrison, president and chief executive officer of Camden-based Campbell Soup Co., during the company’s second-quarter earnings call on Feb. 25.
Campbell Soup first announced plans for the juice brand’s foray into the fast-growing adult on-the-go nutrition market in July 2014. V8 Protein was part of the company’s answer to a sluggish shelf-stable juice category and continued weakness in its U.S. Beverages business.
The products, which debuted that September, were made with such ingredients as carrot and sweet potato, using honey as a sweetener. V8 Protein Shakes contained 3 grams of fiber and 12 grams of protein from milk protein concentrate, soy protein isolate, pea protein isolate, whole grain brown rice protein concentrate and quinoa flour. Flavor varieties included chocolate, vanilla and chocolate raspberry.
V8 Protein Bars contained 5 grams of fiber and 10 grams of protein from soy. Flavor varieties included chocolate peanut butter, chocolate pomegranate and oatmeal raisin varieties.
“We saw strong consumer interest and distribution of V8 Protein Bars and Shakes in 2015,” Megan Haney, a spokesperson for Campbell Soup, told Food Business News. “After a year in-market, we have decided to discontinue the product line and focus on our core V8 business and the expansion of V8 Blends and +Energy.”
The discontinuation of V8 Protein comes at a time when consumer demand for high-protein food and beverage products remains strong. Plant protein in particular is gaining traction among American consumers, according to a recent report from Packaged Facts, Rockville, Md., which said nearly one in four millennials (ages 25-39) are likely to seek such plant-based sources as soy or pea protein.
Not all trend-driven product innovation leads to success, however. For Minneapolis-based General Mills, Inc., a recent product line developed to leverage the gluten-free trend proved less than profitable. The company this past September said it was halting production of its Gluten-Free Chex Oatmeal, which had debuted in 2014 in original, apple cinnamon and maple brown sugar flavors.
“We discontinued the product due to weaker than expected demand from consumers,” said Mike Siemienas, manager of brand media relations for General Mills. “We are always listening to our consumers to help guide where the brand goes next and just because gluten-free oatmeal didn’t work now, doesn’t mean it may not work in the future.”