December 27, 2002
Campbell's upgrades condensed soups
Campbell's is making changes to its line of condensed soups in an effort to halt a slow decline in sales.
The alphabet soup, for example, now has 40 percent more letters, and the vegetable chunks are crisper.
Doug Conant, who became Campbell's CEO nearly two years ago, said the company does not expect to revolutionize dinner tables.
"Our goal is to stabilize our condensed soup business," he said.
Confession time: I have a mad jones for Campbell's tomato soup. I could eat it for days on end if I had to. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it, in fact.
Posted by Charles Kuffner on December 27, 2002 to Food, glorious food
When I was about 18, I used to combine a can of Campbell's tomato soup with about half a stick of butter and a couple of big pinches of basil and oregano. I called the result "liquid pizza." It's quite good, in a gross and disgusting kind of way.
On balance, though, it's just as well that I married a really gifted cook.
Oooh, I'll bet that was good. Just as well I never thought of it.
(I married a good cook, too. She'd be thoroughly grossed out by what we've just confessed to here, but then she likes eating packaged spaghetti sauce straight from the jar.)
I love soup, especially when it's what passes for cold here in Houston. I don't eat a lot of condensed soup, though.
What Campbell's could do to get more of my business is cut way back on the salt.
(And the things I never knew about Tiffany!)
Campbell's does have reduced-salt version of their soups (we always get the reduced-salt tomato soup), but "reduced" is not the same as "low". They still have a fairly hefty dose of sodium.
You didn't hear about Tiffany's spaghetti sauce habits from me. :-)
Having moved to winter, we tried a can of Campbell's clam chowder a couple of weeks ago (the red stuff, which almost makes this on topic). I don't think a mass spectrometer could have detected clams in there. Certainly, neither of us could.
I may have to actually start making real soup on weekends or something.
Soup was what led to my confirmation of my MSG sensitivity a couple of years back. I had a bowl of Chunky something-or-other and got a queasy headache that lasted several hours. The light finally dawned; I checked the label, and there was good ol' monosodium glutamate.
A check pass down the soup aisle didn't turn up one brand that wasn't swimming in the stuff. So I don't have much soup any more.