Campbell Soup Company has introduced a major new packaging innovation for its soup brands in a bid to meet ever increasing demand for convenience products.
The US-based company has created a new convenience line of single-serve, microwaveable soups designed to build on the success of its Soup at Hand product - a sippable soup introduced last autumn - but benefiting from the brand equity of two of its most popular ready-to-serve soups, Chunky and Select.
Launched last year with four varieties, Soup at Hand was one of the most successful new product introductions in the company's history, according to Campbell, and the company is now planning to add seven new varieties to the Soup at Hand portfolio. But it will also introduce six varieties of Chunky and four varieties of Select, which, like Soup at Hand, will be available in single-serve, microwaveable formats.
The new line of single serve, ready-to-serve soups will arrive on store shelves beginning in July. Three of the seven new Soup at Hand varieties will be targeted at 'tweens' - children aged 10 to 14 - with the original flavour variants Chicken & Stars, Mexican Fiesta and Pizza.
The new portable Chunky soup will be available in the brand's most popular six varieties, including Classic Chicken Noodle and Sirloin Burger with Country Vegetables. Each will be served in an individual, 16-ounce microwaveable bowl. Chunky is Campbell's leading ready-to-serve soup. The new Select variants will include New England Clam Chowder and Italian Style Wedding flavours.
Campbell said that the new launches were designed to revitalise its US soup business, as well as tapping into the growing trend towards eating food on-the-go.
"We intend to make the 'C' in Campbell synonymous with convenience," said Campbell president and chief executive officer Douglas R. Conant. "Our success this year with Soup at Hand demonstrates that it is possible to dramatically change the perception our consumers have about soup. We see the opportunity to shift the paradigm so that our consumers think about soup as a 'meal solution' for many new usage occasions.
"Over the last 18 months, we've been aggressively developing a comprehensive innovation programme in soup. We're now ready to launch our first wave, targeted at convenience."
The new soups are not the only moves towards greater convenience planned by Campbell. Later this year the company will add easy-open lids to its entire line of Red and White condensed soups, and expand its recently introduced in-store shelving initiatives designed to make shopping for Campbell's soups easier and more convenient for consumers.
The company did not say whether the brands would be rolled out in other countries, but with operations throughout the world, including Liebig and Homepride in Europe, the likelihood of similar convenience products being launched on this side of the Atlantic as well is high.