Campbell’s Answer to Paltry Soup Sales – More Salt

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At an annual investor meeting at the Campbell’s headquarters in Camden, New Jersey, incoming CEO Denise Morrison announced that salt will be added in more than two dozen soups after a health-inspired low-sodium marketing campaign failed to boost soup sales.

Morrison presented her strategy to analysts and investors, confirming that both Campbell Soup Company and Morrison have absolutely no interest in contributing to the quality of consumers’ health by providing healthy soups low in sodium.

Campbell Soup Company, like virtually all corporate food giants, are driven exclusively by profits. Creating a nutritious product with quality ingredients is the furthest thought in a corporate executive’s mind as a means to improve sales — exemplified in Morrison’s own words in an interview about the U.S. soup business. “For me it’s about stabilizing it [the company] first and then planning growth beyond that.”

Campbell has suffered from several years of weak soup sales that have lowered the company’s share price.

And Campbell, the world’s largest soup maker, has a weaker-than-expected 2012 earnings forecast because they spent exorbitantly on slick Madison Avenue hype, trying to pimp their soup to cash-strapped consumers needing a bigger bang for their dwindling food dollars in order to fill their children’s hungry stomachs.

Cambell could add more meat and vegetables to their soups instead of financing New York advertisers’ monthly BMW car payments, but it’s much easier to just throw in more salt.

Campbell is raising sodium levels in all 31 of its Select Harvest soups to 650 milligrams per serving, from 480 milligrams. They originally ranged from 700 to 800 milligrams.

The maximum recommended level of sodium intake is 2,300 mg per day, and high sodium intake is one of the primary factors involved in the development of high blood pressure.

As J. Anderson, Colorado State University Extension foods and nutrition specialist points out, a high intake of sodium early in life might weaken genetic defenses against developing high blood pressure. Experts recommend reducing sodium intake while blood pressure is still normal. This may decrease your risk of developing hypertension.

According to Reuters, Campbell still offers a range of Healthy Request soups that have lower sodium, including some under the Select Harvest brand. But Morrison said the reduction in the overall Select Harvest soups was too much, and that now Campbell wants to give consumers more choices.

“Sodium reduction is important but we have to do other things, like taste and more culinary credentials,” Morrison said.

Translation: boost sales.

Morrison plans to double the percentage of revenue derived from new products to 8 percent by 2015, up from 4 percent now. In other words, Morrison plans to double the percentage of revenue by adding a little umami in the form of salt.

Reuters claims the step-up in salt is part of 46 recipe changes Campbell plans for fiscal 2012. It also plans to introduce 27 new soup products, including Swanson Flavor Boost packets and unsalted broths, new Healthy Request soups and premium-priced Slow Kettle soups.

Good luck.

Everyone but couch potatoes in an alpha state fixated on American Idle knows nothing healthy and nutritious ever came out of a can, and nifty things like “flavor boost packets” are full of chemicals.

Now if Campbell marketed their soups to survivalists as “Doomsday Soup” in preparation for 2012, and touted a secret Mayan recipe, their sales would skyrocket, giving Morrison something to brag to shareholders about.

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Spence Cooper
Inquisitive foodie with a professional investigative background and strong belief in the organic farm to table movement. Author of Bad Seeds: A FriendsEAT Guide to GMO's. Buy Now!
Spence Cooper

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