Soup boils down to M'm! M'm! Money! at the world's #1 soup maker Campbell Soup. The company's most popular selections among its 90-variety soup portfolio in the US include chicken noodle, tomato, and cream of mushroom. Campbell also makes and markets meal kits, SpaghettiOs canned pasta, Pace picante sauce, V8 beverages, and Pepperidge Farm baked goods (including those popular tiny Goldfish crackers). New products for the soup company include Bolthouse Farms carrots and organic baby foods. Campbell's Australian division produces snack foods, such as the Aussie favorite Arnott's biscuits. The food manufacturer, which sells its products in more than 100 countries, boasts facilities throughout the world.
The company operates more than 25 manufacturing facilities in the US and abroad. The US is Campbell's largest market, accounting for more than three-quarters of its sales. Australia accounts for 8% of sales, with other countries contributing the rest. Campbell has executive offices in Norwalk, Connecticut; Bakersfield and Emeryville, California; Toronto, Canada; Nørre Snede, Denmark; and North Strathfield, Australia.
Campbell operates in three core categories: Soup and Simple Meals, Snacks, and Healthy Beverages. The US Simple Meals segment includes Campbell’s condensed and ready-to-serve soups; Swanson broth and stocks; Prego pasta sauces; Pace Mexican sauces; Campbell’s gravies, pasta, beans and dinner sauces; Swanson canned poultry; and Plum Organics food and snacks.
Its Global Baking and Snacking segment includes Pepperidge Farm cookies, crackers, bakery, and frozen products in US retail; Arnott’s biscuits in Australia and Asia/Pacific; and Kelsen cookies globally.
The International Simple Meals and Beverages segment includes the Canada retail business, and the Simple meals and beverages business in Asia Pacific, Latin America, and China.
The US Beverages segment includes V8 juices and beverages, and Campbell’s tomato juice. Bolthouse and Foodservice comprises the Bolthouse Farms carrot products operating segment (including fresh carrots, juice concentrate and fiber), the Bolthouse Farms super-premium refrigerated beverages, and refrigerated salad dressings; and the North America Foodservice segment.
The company principal brands, including Arnott's, Bolthouse Farms, Campbell's, Goldfish, Kjeldsens, Pace, Pepperidge Farm, Plum Organics, Prego, Swanson, and V8, are protected by trademark law in the major markets where they are used. In addition, some of the company's products are sold under brands that have been licensed from third parties.
Sales and Marketing
Wal-Mart is Campbell's largest customer, accounting for 19% of sales. The company reported advertising production costs in fiscal 2014 (ended July) of $411, compared with $419 million and $476 million fiscal years 2013 and 2012, respectively.
The company has reported stable revenue growth over the past few years. In fiscal 2014 Campbell's revenues increased by 3% due to higher revenue from US Simple Meals, Global Baking and Snacking and Bolthouse and Foodservice segments. Global Baking and Snacking segment revenues increased by 7% due to acquisition of Kelsen and Pepperidge Farm and growth in fresh bakery and Goldfish crackers, partially offset by declines in adult cracker varieties and frozen products. Fresh bakery sales increased due to gains in sandwich bread and rolls. Bolthouse and Foodservice segment sales grew by 5% due to the benefit of the 53rd week and the additional week of Bolthouse sales in 2014. The increase in the revenues was partially offset by a drop in sales in the US beverage and International simple meal and beverages segments.
After experiencing three straight years of lower net income, in fiscal 2014 Campbell posted net income of $818 million (up from $458 million in fiscal 2013) due to higher revenues, a decline in interest expenses, and income from discontinued operations (the result of selling its European simple meals business to Soppa Investments S.à r.l.).
In fiscal 2014 the company generated cash from operations of $899 million (down from $1 billion in 2013) due to a change in working capital as a result of cash spent on prepaid assets and account payables.
Campbell's strategy is focused on strengthening its established businesses while diversifying its portfolio into higher-growth spaces. Its established simple meals, snacks and healthy beverages businesses are concentrated in slower-growing center-store categories in traditional mass and grocery channels. The company's businesses are largely concentrated in the traditional retail grocery trade. In recent years, alternative retail grocery channels, such as dollar stores, drug stores, club stores and Internet-based retailers, have increased their market share. This trend towards alternative channels is expected to continue in the future.
The company is working to boost profits by focusing on three categories worldwide: simple meals, baked snacks, and healthy beverages. To this end, Campbell acquire Denmark-based Kelsen Group A/S to drive its baked snacks business in China from its private equity owners. Campbell is working to increase product innovation and consumer marketing initiatives for products in the Campbell's, Swanson, Pace, Prego, Pepperidge Farm, Goldfish, Arnott's, and V8 lines that fall under the three categories. Currently, the company looks to stabilize and boost the profitability of its North American soup and simple meals businesses. For its healthy beverages unit, it's pursuing fast-growing product segments, such as energy drinks and juices, while also growing this business outside the US. To set up its baked snacks for growth, Campbell is building a 34,000-sq.-ft. innovation center at the Pepperidge Farm headquarters. Funding the initiatives will negatively affect financial performance for that year but help set the stage for future profitability.
Campbell is focused on boosting its presence abroad, including fast-growing markets in Asia and Latin America through acquisitions and strategic alliances, such as joint ventures. With China having one of the world's highest rates of per-capita soup consumption, Campbell has been focusing its efforts on the Guangdong province and Shanghai.
Campbell plans to take a number of steps in 2015 to strengthen its established businesses. In its North American soup and simple meals business, the company expects to improve performance by enhancing product quality and elevating its marketing and brand-building efforts. The company also looks to introduce new soup and simple meal products responsive to consumers’ desire for indulgent or premium foods; their increasing appetite for ethnic and regional cuisines; and their growing interest in quick and easy home-cooking solutions. For its shelf-stable beverage business, the company will target health-conscious adults with its V8 branded beverages and households with children with its V8 Splash branded beverages. Pepperidge Farm will remain focused on building the Goldfish cracker brand, maintaining the momentum of its fresh bakery portfolio, and revitalizing its adult savory crackers business. The company will also continue its efforts to reinvigorate its businesses in Australia, focusing on Arnott's biscuits.
Addressing changing consumer tastes, the company has been reducing the salt content of its foods across some of its best-selling brands, including its iconic tomato soup, along with V8, Healthy Request, Chunky, and Goldfish products. Challenged in quality and sales by rival General Mills' Progresso-brand soups, Campbell has enhanced the taste of its products by adding more vegetables to its vegetable soup and making its cream soups creamier.
In fiscal 2014 Campbell announced plans to launch more than 200 new products in fiscal 2015 to meet consumers’ changing tastes, preferences, and needs.
It has also taken steps to close and/or sell unproductive operations. In fiscal 2014 the company and its joint venture partner Swire Pacific Limited restructured manufacturing and streamline operations for the joint venture's soup and broth business in China, closin its soup production plant in Xiamen. That year Campbell also closed plants in Aiken, South Carolina, and Villagran, Mexico. In fiscal 2013 it sold its European simple meals business, closing facilities in Belgium, France, Germany, and Sweden.
Growing its operations, in fiscal 2013 Campbell signed a deal with Grupo Jumex and Conservas La Costeñato expand the company’s access to manufacturing and distribution capabilities in Mexico for its beverages, soups, broths, and sauces.
That year Campbell teamed up with Keurig Green Mountain to market and sell each other's products. The deal brought together Campbell’s, the US' number one soup brand, and Keurig, the top US coffee brewer brand.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Campbell is expanding its brand portfolio through acquisitions. The soup giant in August 2013 acquired the Denmark-based baked snack maker Kelsen Group for $325 million. In June 2013 it bought Plum Organics, one of the top brands of organic baby food in the US. The company makes organic foods and snacks for babies, toddlers, and children, a fast-growing premium food category. (The Plum purchase, which the company hopes will bring a new generation of consumers to Campbell, follows the company's 2012 purchase of Bolthouse Farms for about $1.55 billion from Madison Dearborn Partners. Bolthouse, known for selling fresh carrots, beverages, and salad dressings, is expected to further fuel Campbell's US beverage division, which has benefited from the rising popularity of the V8 juice brand)
The descendants of John Dorrance, the inventor of condensed soup and founder of the company, own approximately 42% of Campbell.