Campbell Soup Company, Camden, N.J., outlined long-term growth plans for its core businesses during a meeting with investors at its recently completed Campbell Employee Center.

Douglas R. Conant, Campbell’s president and Chief Executive Officer, opened the meeting with an overview of the company’s strategies, recent performance and key success factors.

“We have made great progress over the last five years, and we are winning in the workplace, in the marketplace and in the community," said Conant. "We believe in the power of being a focused food company and have sharpened our portfolio around three large and growing categories:healthy beverages, baked snacks and simple meals. I am confident that over time we can win in these categories by leveraging our leading brands, regional scale, world-class product technologies, financial strength and organizational excellence and vitality. We have clear strategies to drive our growth going forward.”

Conant outlined Campbell’s key success factors for long-term growth:

-- Drive superior sales growth in healthy beverages and baked snacks through increased innovation, including wellness, and higher levels of marketing support;

-- Improve sales growth in simple meals by expanding its global soup leadership position with regional business building efforts, stepped up innovation and increasing emphasis on emerging markets for long-term growth.

-- Increasing its focus on meal makers such as broth, sauces and cooking soups.

Campbell outlined growth plans for healthy beverages, anchored by “V8” juices, and baked snacks, anchored by Pepperidge Farm and Arnott’s, and said it intended to increase its focus on these businesses.

Mark Alexander, president North America Baking and Snacking and chief customer officer, described growth plans for Campbell's businesses that compete in the $95 billion global baked snacks market:

-- Increase momentum in the core crackers business with a focus on “Goldfish” in North America and “Shapes” crackers in Asia Pacific through increased marketing;
-- Drive growth in fresh bread through continued premium innovation and a focus on health and wellness trends;

-- Significantly increase R&D investments to drive innovation and create new products across Campbell’s baked snacks business;

-- Accelerate collaboration across geographies, building on the success of recent efforts, such as the introduction of “Tim Tam” biscuits in the U.S.

Said Alexander, “Our baking and snacking business has a track record of strong financial results, and we see a very promising future for these businesses based on our leading brands and our investments designed to drive continued innovation.”
Carl Johnson, Campbell’s chief strategy officer; Larry McWilliams, president, Campbell International, and Denise Morrison, president North America Soup, Sauces and Beverages, described the Campbell's participation in $421 billion global simple meals category as being in two broad segments:meal makers, which include products such as “Campbell’s” condensed cooking soups, “Swanson” broth, “Prego” and “Pace” sauces and “Domashnaya Klassika” concentrated broths; andmeals, which include products such as “Campbell’s” condensed eating soups and “Campbell’s Chunky,” “Campbell’s Select Harvest” and “Erasco” ready-to-serve soups.

“The growth outlook for simple meals is very favorable with in-home eating at an 18-year high," said Johnson.T"he breadth of Campbell’s products used to prepare meals provides us with a competitive advantage in meal makers, the faster growing segment of the simple meals category.”

McWilliams described key initiatives in meal makers for fiscal 2011 including:

-- Increase marketing efforts of cooking and meal preparation across geographies with a focus on easy dinner ideas and other meals;

-- Boost innovation around meal occasions and attract new consumers by introducing new products, such as premium sauces and concentrated broths, in several markets;

-- Establish businesses in emerging markets such as Russia and China.
Said McWilliams, “We see enormous potential for soup within simple meals across meal occasions, geographies and consumer needs, and we plan to increase our participation in the global meal makers category.”

Morrison described Campbell’s plans for soup in fiscal 2011. As previously announced, Campbell will reposition its U.S. condensed soup line with enhanced ingredients, improved taste, more contemporary packaging and further sodium reduction. Other initiatives include:

-- Improve the competitiveness of the U.S. ready-to-serve soup business through product enhancements, new varieties, competitive pricing and promotions and improved marketing. Outside the U.S., Campbell will focus on its ready-to-serve business in Australia, Belgium, Canada, France and Germany.
-- Expand soup as a meal in emerging geographies and channels by launching and testing ready-to-serve soups in several markets. Campbell also will work to grow the fresh soup category and expand distribution in restaurants, schools and other out-of-home locations.

-- Increase innovation by extending sodium reduction leadership and leveraging expertise in vegetable nutrition to introduce new products.

Morrison also described Campbell’s plans to introduce an umbrella advertising campaign to reposition “Campbell’s” soup in simple meals and support its entire U.S. soup portfolio. This effort will combine the budget of Campbell’s U.S. soup brands and deliver an integrated campaign with spending levels well above $100 million.

Morrison said, “Soup provides great value, variety and versatility compared to other options consumers have for lunch and dinner. Campbell will continuously remind people of all the amazing things soup can do.”