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The Campbell Soup Company’s president and CEO Denise Morrison recently provided an update on the company’s progress against its strategies to return to sustainable, profitable top-line growth at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York (CAGNY) conference in Boca Raton, Fla.
Under Morrison’s leadership, Camden, N.J.-based Campbell has focused on three key growth strategies: to stabilize and profitably grow North America soup and simple meals; to expand the company’s international presence; and continue to drive growth in healthy beverages and baked snacks.
Morrison said, “To realize our strategic vision, we must fulfill a dual mandate. We committed ourselves to work diligently and creatively to expand into higher-growth spaces, to engage with new consumers and to build our business in new geographies.” She noted the importance of maintaining the “strength of our core business and our intense engagement−over many, many decades−with our loyal consumer base.”
In its U.S. Soup and Simple Meals business, Campbell is rebuilding strength in the core and investing in innovation to maintain the appeal and excitement of its brands with new recipes and line extensions, according to the company.
Morrison also described efforts in other parts of the business, including Healthy Beverages, as Campbell plans to introduce V8 V-Fusion Refreshers, a new line that offers a crisper, lighter taste. The company will also continue to build on its launch last fiscal year of V8 V-Fusion + Energy, a line of energy drinks made with green tea, as well as new products to drive continued growth in its Global Baking and Snacking business.
Morrison highlighted Campbell’s innovation efforts as a key driver for accelerated growth, which led to Campbell’s Go soups and Campbell’s Skillet Sauces, introduced earlier this fiscal year. The next set of Campbell’s products in this range will feature slow cookers, which are now in more than 80 percent of U.S. households and used to prepare nearly 500 million meals per year. Sold in pouch packages, the new line of Campbell’s Slow Cooker Sauces will be available later this year.
Campbell’s acquisition of Bolthouse Farms provides the foundation for a new platform to accelerate growth, according to Morrison, with its market-leading positions in the super-premium beverages segment. “Bolthouse Farms gives us strong credentials in the packaged fresh category in the retail perimeter–a terrain much broader than beverages and salad dressings,” she said. "We’ve identified some very compelling opportunities in this arena and we’re developing plans to pursue them.”
Morrison also discussed international expansion and the pursuit of external development opportunities in priority markets in Asia and Latin America to increase capabilities and build scale. This included recently announced agreements in Mexico with Grupo Jumex and Conservas La Costeña to expand access to production and distribution capabilities in that market for the company’s beverages, soups and sauces.
“We know that it will take time, patience and fortitude to fulfill our strategic vision,” Morrison added. “We are under no illusions that this work will proceed in a straight line. The progress we’ve made in the past eighteen months has been highly gratifying.”
Campbell Soup Company is a manufacturer and marketer of high-quality foods and simple meals, including soup and sauces, baked snacks and healthy beverages. Founded in 1869, the company has a portfolio of market-leading brands including Campbell’s, Pepperidge Farm, Arnott’s and V8.