Camden / NJ. (csc) At the Consumer Analyst Group of New York (CAGNY) conference in Boca Raton, Florida, Campbell Soup Company President and Chief Executive Officer Denise Morrison provided an update on the company´s progress against its strategies to return the company to sustainable, profitable top-line growth. Under Morrison´s leadership, Campbell has focused on three key growth strategies:
Morrison said, «To realize our strategic vision, we must fulfil a dual mandate. We committed ourselves to work diligently and creatively to expand into higher-growth spaces, to engage with new consumers and to build our business in new geographies. But at the same time, it is imperative that we maintain the strength of our core business and our intense engagement-over many, many decades-with our loyal consumer base».
In its U.S. Soup and Simple Meals business, Campbell is rebuilding strength in the core and investing in innovation to maintain the appeal and excitement of its brands with new recipes and line extensions that provide taste adventure. Morrison said, «Our plans for stabilizing and rebuilding the profitability of our Soup and Simple Meals business in North America are working».
Morrison also described efforts in other parts of the business, including Healthy Beverages. Campbell plans to introduce «V8 V-Fusion Refreshers», a new line that offers a crisper, lighter taste for consumers seeking greater refreshment. The company will continue to build on its launch last fiscal year of «V8 V-Fusion + Energy», a line of energy drinks made with green tea, as well as new products to drive continued growth in its Global Baking and Snacking business.
Morrison highlighted Campbell´s breakthrough innovation efforts as a key driver for accelerated growth. This innovation process led to «Campbell´s Go» soups and «Campbell´s» Skillet Sauces, introduced earlier this fiscal year. The «Campbell´s» Skillet Sauces line represents the first entrant in a platform of dinner sauces the company has planned. While «Campbell´s» Skillet Sauces target the stove-top, the next set of Campbell´s products in this range will feature slow cookers, which are now in more than 80 percent of U.S. households and used to prepare nearly 500 million meals per year. Sold in pouch packages, the new line of «Campbell´s» Slow Cooker Sauces will be available later this year in four to five varieties, including Sweet Korean BBQ.
Morrison noted that Campbell´s acquisition of Bolthouse Farms provides the foundation for a new platform to accelerate growth, with its market-leading positions in the super-premium beverages segment. «Bolthouse Farms gives us strong credentials in the packaged fresh category in the retail perimeter–a terrain much broader than beverages and salad dressings. We´ve identified some very compelling opportunities in this arena and we´re developing plans to pursue them», said Morrison. Packaged fresh is a twelve billion USD category with a growth rate estimated to be six to seven percent–well ahead of the food industry average.
Morrison also discussed international expansion and the pursuit of external development opportunities in priority markets in Asia and Latin America to increase capabilities and build scale. This included recently-announced agreements in Mexico with Grupo Jumex and Conservas La Costeña to expand access to production and distribution capabilities in that market for the company´s beverages, soups and sauces.
«We know that it will take time, patience and fortitude to fulfil our strategic vision. We are under no illusions that this work will proceed in a straight line», concluded Morrison. «The progress we have made in the past eighteen months has been highly gratifying».