Campbell Soup Company is the world's leading maker of canned soup with its familar red and white labels found in millions of households across the U.S.. In addition to soup, the company produces spaghetti sauce, crackers, cookies, tomato juice and salsa.
The company's brands include Campbell's, Arnott's, Prego, Swanson, Pace, V8, Bolthouse Farms and Pepperidge Farm. International brands include Erasco soups in Germany, Liebig soups in France, and Arnott biscuit and snacks in Asia. Products are sold in 120 countries worldwide.
Campbell uses almost a million miles of noodles in its Chicken Noodle soup each year, enough to circle the equator more than 40 times. Tomato, Cream of Chicken and Chicken Noodle are the most popular soups made by Campbell and Americans eat about 2.5 billion bowls of these three soups a year.
The North American business -- including soups, sauces and beverages -- has nearly 7,000 employees and 11 production facilities in the U.S. and Canada. Pepperidge Farm has almost 5,000 employees and more than 3,500 independent distributors, and operates nine production facilities in the U.S. The International Division has 12 production facilities and about 6,000 employees in 16 countries.
The company reported net sales of $8.0 billion in fiscal 2013, up from $7.17 billion in fiscal 2012. Net earnings were $449 million. U.S. Soup sales were up 5% for the year.
The company said it plans to launch more than 200 products in fiscal 2014 including versions of Chicken Noodle soup in a K-Cup that can be cooked with Keurig coffee machines.
In August, Campbell acquired Dutch company Kelsen Group A/S, a producer of quality baked snacks, including the Kjeldsens and Royal Dansk brands, sold in 85 countries around the world.
In 1869, two men - a fruit merchant named Joseph Campbell and an icebox manufacturer named Abraham Anderson - shook hands in Camden, NJ, to form a new business. Originally called the Joseph A. Campbell Preserve Company, the business produced canned tomatoes, vegetables, jellies, soups, condiments, and minced meats. In 1897, a major milestone occurred when Arthur Dorrance, the general manager of the company, reluctantly hired his 24-year-old nephew to join the company. Dr. John T. Dorrance, a chemist who had trained in Europe, was so determined to join Campbell that he agreed to pay for laboratory equipment out of his own pocket and accept a token salary of just $7.50 per week.
Dr. Dorrance quickly made his mark on history with the invention of condensed soup in 1897. By eliminating the water in canned soup, he lowered the costs for packaging, shipping, and storage. This made it possible to offer a 10-ounce can of Campbell's condensed soup for a dime, versus more than 30 cents for a typical 32-ounce can of soup. The idea became so hot with Americans that in 1922, the company formally adopted "Soup" as its middle name.
In 1915, the Franco-American Food Company was acquired and the Franco-American brand is continued for spaghetti and pasta products. Campbell's introduced Tomato Soup in 1897, Cream of Chicken and Chicken Noodle soup in 1934.
Advertising helped trumpet the benefits of soup to consumers and contributed to the success. In 1904, the cherubic Campbell Kids were introduced in a series of trolley car advertisements, as a way to appeal to working mothers. Around this same time, the first magazine print ad boasted 21 varieties, each selling for a dime. In the 1930's, Campbell entered into radio sponsorship, using the familiar "M'm! M'm! Good!" jingle to captivate listeners. When television made its way to American homes in the 1950's, Campbell introduced TV commercials, and some 40 years later, the Campbell Kids were found dancing to rap songs on the small screen. Today, Campbell remains one of the leading advertisers in the US.
In 1898, a company executive named Herberton Williams attended the traditional football game between Ivy League rivals Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania. For Williams, the game was nearly as exciting as Cornell's brilliant new red and white uniforms. Unable to shake the striking image they made on the football field that day, he convinced the company to adopt the colors as their own by changing the labels on cans of Campbell's Soups.
Campbell introduced Chunky Soup line in 1970.
In 2008, Campbell sold its Godiva brand of chocolates to Yildiz Holding Co. of Turkey for $850 million.
Campbell bought Bolthouse Farms, a maker of natural beverages and salad dressings, in 2012 for $1.55 billion.
Health and Protection
Updated September 10, 2013