Campbell Soup Outlines Four Platforms to Drive Growth
By Lynne Cooke
Campbell Soup Company is focused firmly on the evolving consumer as it gears up for growth over the next decade. At the same time, the CPG giant is planning steps to define its place in the future of food through strategic foresight.
“Across every industry and in every organization, the pace of change is unpredictable, unrelenting and unforgiving,” said Campbell Soup Company President and Chief Executive Officer Denise Morrison. “The future food world will be more complex and more challenging. To fully unlock Campbell’s performance, we’re looking beyond typical five-year planning horizons and establishing well-informed perspectives on opportunities and disruptions driven by the intersection of real food, health and well-being and technology.”
Morrison provided an overview of the company’s strategic direction at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York (CAGNY) Conference in Boca Raton, Fla. recently.
Morrison focused on four emerging growth platforms, including:
Future Commerce: Between 2016 and 2021, e-commerce sales of food and beverages are projected to reach $66 billion with a compound annual growth rate of 38 percent. Morrison painted a picture of frictionless future commerce where consumers’ food needs will be met anywhere, anytime through connected kitchens and an always-on shopping environment. Morrison outlined Campbell’s current programs and plans such as meal kits, buy-now capabilities, recipe integration with leading recipe sites, and dash buttons, as well as the company’s focus on increasing its e-commerce capabilities as consumer expectations shift from centralized locations and platforms to diverse omni-channel experiences.
My.Moments: Campbell recognizes a growth opportunity to expand its business in snacking across many of its categories. Snacking is an $89 billion market in the U.S. with a compound annual growth rate of nearly 3 percent. Morrison said that while more than two-thirds of snacks are of the “mindless munching” variety, 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 both customizable and offer functional benefits. Campbell’s longer-term plans include adding functional benefits to its existing snacks, while also selecting real food ingredients that can address specific needs, such as endurance, mood and energy management, with a goal of ultimately creating new snacking platforms that are true to the company’s purpose: “Real food that matters for life's moments.”
Better.Me: The next frontier in nutrition will be about reconfiguring diets according to an individual’s specific physiology, lifestyle and health goals. Morrison said the Better.Me growth platform leverages biometric data to provide personalized food options. To meet this emerging need, Campbell funded Habit, a new startup company positioned at the intersection of health, technology and food, poised to lead the personalized nutrition revolution. Habit is currently being tested in the Greater San Francisco area (Editor’ Note: For more information, visit www.habit.com).
Limitless Local: Limitless Local is a movement that embraces smaller, more regional farming and food production models that foster new narratives around quality, community and place. It fosters a more intimate relationship to food, where it comes from, how it’s made and who the people are behind it. Campbell is incorporating Limitless Local in its product development, with brands such as 1915 by Bolthouse Farms, Well Yes! soup, and Prego Farmers’ Market, as well as a small-batch production of one of the company’s original tomato soup recipes using local New Jersey beefsteak tomatoes. Morrison said Campbell’s history of working with American family farmers for more than a century and its rich heritage of making simple, affordable and delicious foods uniquely position the company to leverage this growth platform.
“Guided by our purpose and our strategic imperatives, we set out to identify clear and compelling growth opportunities,” she said. “We prioritized these growth platforms we believe will have the greatest impact on Campbell and lead to significant growth opportunities over the next decade. We have what we need to meet the challenges of this new world. If you look closely at the 148-year history of Campbell, we are not only a company that has proven ourselves capable of dealing with profound change. We are a company with a history of leading profound change, and we are a company that has thrived in periods of profound change. I’m confident that we can and will do so again in the future.”