BOCA RATON, FLA. — During a Feb. 17 conference call with financial analysts, Campbell Soup Co. chief executive officer Denise Morrison reflected on the company’s performance and said she was not satisfied. During a Feb. 22 presentation at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York conference, Ms. Morrison shifted gears and offered her audience a glimpse of four trends that may change the trajectory of the company.
|Denise Morrison, c.e.o. of Campbell Soup|
“As I said then, and I’ll say again now, our progress should not solely be measured by short-term performance,” Ms. Morrison said. “Sure, it matters. But it’s also important to view our performance an evolution over the long term.”
With the long-term view in mind, Ms. Morrison identified four trends the company believes hold the greatest promise for Campbell Soup. They include future commerce, personal moments, the further evolution of health and wellness and “limitless local.”
“As it’s been widely discussed, e-commerce will transform the food industry, as it’s already done with entertainment and apparel,” Ms. Morrison said. “Between 2016 and 2021, we project e-commerce sales of food and beverages to reach $66 billion, a compound annual growth rate of 38%.”
In response, she said an e-commerce ecosystem is being built that includes delivery services, click and collect options and subscription-based meal services that will force companies like Campbell Soup to develop more customized, demand-driven supply chains.
“Campbell has initiated many digital and e-commerce programs, including meal kits, buy now capabilities, recipe integration with leading recipe sites and dash buttons to name a few,” she said. “But future commerce will be driven by emerging mobile and digital technologies, including artificial intelligence, [Bots] augmented in virtual reality, new forms of currency and methods of transaction.
“Through the Internet of Things, connected kitchens will alert consumers when they are running low on broth and when their salad dressing needs to be replenished. The key is to make sure that that’s Swanson broth and Bolthouse Farms salad dressing.
“Essentially, this constitutes a new architecture, an always on shopping environment that provides consumers with instant and omnipresent ratification and will be free of inconvenience and delays. Shopping for and preparing meals will be flexible, fully automated and even anticipatory.”
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The future of snacking
With the lines between snacking and meal occasions blurring, Ms. Morrison said Campbell Soup sees numerous opportunities.
“Today, more than two thirds of all snacks are of the mindless munching variety,” she said. “In other words, (they are) purchased to satisfy cravings. The snacks of tomorrow will be more deliberate with a specific purpose, they will be more accessible, affordable and high quality and they will be customizable and offer functional benefits.”
To capitalize on the trend Campbell Soup initially is focusing its efforts through its Global Biscuits and Snacks division through such brands as Goldfish, Kjeldsens and Tim Tams, Ms. Morrison said.
“Longer term, we’re focused on dialing up the functional benefits of our existing snacks while also selecting real food ingredients that can address specific needs such as in endurance, mood and energy management,” she said. “Ultimately, our goal is to create entirely new snacking platforms that are true to our purpose.”