Campbell Soup Company


The Campbell Soup Company, doing business as Campbell's, is an American company, most closely associated with its flagship canned soup products; however through mergers and acquisitions, it has grown to become one of the largest processed food companies in the United States with a wide variety of products under its flagship Campbell's brand as well as other brands including Pepperidge Farm, Snyder's of Hanover, V8, and Swanson. With its namesake brand Campbell's produces soups and other canned foods, baked goods, beverages, and snacks. It is headquartered in Camden, New Jersey.[4]

Campbell Soup Company
Company typePublic
IndustryFood processing
Founded1869; 155 years ago (1869)
FounderJoseph A. Campbell
HeadquartersCamden, New Jersey, U.S.
Key people
Mark Clouse (President & CEO) [1]
RevenueIncrease US$8.691 billion (2020)[2]
Increase US$1.107 billion (2020)[2]
Increase US$1.628 billion (2020)[2]
Total assetsDecrease US$12.372 billion (2020)[2]
Total equityIncrease US$2.569 billion (2020)[2]
OwnerMary Alice Dorrance Malone (15%)
Number of employees
19,000[3] (2020)

The classic red-and-white can design used by many Campbell's branded products has become an American icon, and its use in pop art was typified by Andy Warhol's series of Campbell's Soup Cans prints.



Foundation and early history

Joseph A. Campbell, founder

The company was started in 1869 by Joseph A. Campbell, a fruit merchant from Bridgeton, New Jersey, and Abraham Anderson, an icebox manufacturer from South Jersey.[5] They produced canned tomatoes, vegetables, jellies, soups, condiments, and minced meats.

In 1876, Anderson left the partnership and the company became the "Joseph A. Campbell Preserve Company".[6] Anderson's son, Campbell Speelman, split paths with his father and continued to work at Campbell's as a creative director, originally designing the Campbell's soup cans.[7]

The Jos. A. Campbell Preserve Co., Camden, NJ in 1894

In 1894, Campbell retired and Arthur Dorrance became the company president.[8] Campbell reorganized into "Joseph Campbell & Co." in 1896. In 1897, John T. Dorrance, a nephew of company president Dorrance, began working for the company at a wage of $7.50 a week ($253 in 2022 dollars).[6][9] Dorrance, a chemist with degrees from MIT and Göttingen University, Germany, developed a commercially viable method for condensing soup by halving the quantity of its heaviest ingredient: water.[5] He went on to become president of the company from 1914 to 1930, eventually buying out the Campbell family.[10]

In 1898, Herberton Williams, a Campbell's executive, convinced the company to adopt a carnelian red and bright white color scheme, because he was taken by the crisp carnelian red color of the Cornell University football team's uniforms.[11] To this day, the layout of the can, with its red and white design and the metallic bronze medal seal from the 1900 Paris Exhibition,[12] has changed very little, with the exception of the French phrase on the top of the bronze seal that said "Exposition-Universelle-Internationale" which was changed to the English name of the exhibition as "Paris International Exposition".[citation needed]

Growth under new leadership


Campbell Soup became one of the largest food companies in the world under the leadership of William Beverly Murphy. He was elected executive vice president of Campbell Soup in 1949 and was president and CEO from 1953 to 1972. While at Campbell's Soup Company, he took the corporation public and increased its brand portfolio to include Pepperidge Farm's breads, cookies, and crackers, Franco-American's gravies and pastas, V8 vegetable juices, Swanson broths, and Godiva's chocolates. David Johnson was president and CEO from 1990 until 1997.

Campbell's pork and beans advertised in The Saturday Evening Post, 1921
Campbell's soup ad, published in The Ladies Home Journal, 1923

Campbell Soup has invested heavily in advertising since its inception, and many artifacts of its promotional campaigns have proven valuable in the Americana collectible advertising market. Perhaps best known are the "Campbell's Kids" designed by illustrator Grace Drayton.[5] Ronald Reagan was a spokesman for V8 when Campbell's acquired the brand in 1948.[13][better source needed]

In addition to collectible advertising, the company has had notable commercial sponsorships. Among them was Orson Welles's The Campbell Playhouse, which had previously been The Mercury Theatre on the Air. After the program's adaptation of The War of the Worlds became a sensation for accidentally starting a mass panic due to its realism, Campbell's took over as sponsor of the radio theater program in December 1938.

Shutdown of factories


The shutdown of Campbell's original plant in Camden, New Jersey, plant No. 1, was announced in 1989, with production to end on the night of March 1, 1991; the plant was officially closed the next day, and was demolished on November 1, 1991. Plants in Pocomoke City, Maryland; Crisfield, Maryland; and Smyrna, Tennessee also shut down around that time.[14]

Plant No. 2, originally a tomato-processing plant, shut down in 1980. In the 1950s it had manufactured about 35% of all Campbell's products. Products included pork and beans; tomato juice, V8 vegetable juice, Franco-American spaghetti, macaroni and cheese; and soups (notably: bean with bacon, cream of mushroom, cream of celery, and cream of asparagus.[15]

Article in the Camden Courier Post (1990) announcing the shutdown of Campbell's Camden factory

Due to these closures 2,800 jobs were lost, around 1,000 of those from the Camden plant. Workers received one week's payment for each year of employment as well as six months of paid medical benefits, and half the cost for an additional six months. Salaried workers received one week's pay for each year of employment.[16] Production was moved to plants in Napoleon, Ohio; Paris, Texas; and Maxton, North Carolina.[17][18]

Recent history


In March 2008, Campbell's Soup was rebranded as Batchelors Condensed Soup in the UK and Erin in Ireland when the license to use the brand name in those countries expired. Premier Foods, headquartered in St. Albans, Hertfordshire, bought the Campbell Soup Company in the UK and Ireland for £450 million ($830 million) in 2006 but was licensed to use the Campbell name only until 2008. Under this agreement, the US-based Campbell Soup Company continued to produce Campbell's Condensed Soup but could not sell the product in the UK for a further five years.[19]

Campbell's continues to be a major part of Camden, regularly participating in charity events[20][21] in the community. In 2009, Campbell's completed the construction of a new and expanded headquarters[22] in the city.

1923 Campbell's tomato soup ad

In January 2010, Campbell's Canadian subsidiary began selling a line of soups that are certified by the Islamic Society of North America as being halal (prepared in accordance with Islamic law). Although Campbell does not have any plans to sell its halal soups in the United States, the move drew criticism from anti-Muslim critics in the United States. Several bloggers called for a boycott of the company, but Campbell's spokesman John Faulkner stated at the time that the company did not notice any effect on its sales as a result.[23]

In November 2007, Campbell's Soup sold Godiva to Yildiz Holding.

In July 2011, Campbell's Soup decided to once again sell its product in the UK. Symingtons began manufacturing the brand under license. The new lineup consisted of twelve cup soups, five simmer soups designed to be cooked in a pot of water, four savory rice lines as well as four savory pasta and sauce packets. The items were not sold in cans but instead in packets and boxes. Later in 2011, the canned varieties also returned to supermarket shelves with refreshed labels and new lines.[24]

In 2012, Campbell announced plans to buy Bolthouse Farms, a maker of juices, salad dressings, and baby carrots, for $1.55 billion. Analysts said it was an attempt to reach younger, more affluent consumers.[25]

Since 2012, Campbell Soup has been focused on updating their image and digital marketing to increase visibility among younger generations.

In June 2013, Campbell acquired the Danish multinational baked goods company Kelsen Group for an undisclosed amount.[26] Kelsen has an 85-country distribution network and is seen as providing Campbell with opportunities for international expansion, particularly into China and other Asian markets.[26]

In June 2015, Campbell Soup acquired salsa maker Garden Fresh Gourmet for $231 million as it looked to expand into the fresh and organic packaged foods business.[27]

In December 2017, Campbell's completed the acquisition[28] of Pacific Foods of Oregon, LLC[29] for $700 million and announced the agreement to acquire the snack company Snyder's-Lance for $4.87 billion in cash.[30] The latter deal is the largest in the company's history.[31]

In January 2018, Campbell's announced the closure of their only Canadian factory, in Toronto. Production shifted to three existing facilities in the United States, and 380 jobs were lost as a result.[32]

Denise Morrison in the Campbell Soup Company test kitchen in 2012

Denise Morrison served as the company's president and CEO from 2011 through 2018.[33]

On December 21, 2018, Mark Clouse, former CEO of Pinnacle Foods, was announced as Campbell's CEO effective January 22, 2019.[34]

Having sold over $450 million a year worth of Chunky Soup from 2004 to 2017, Campbell's asked for a trademark on "Chunky", which was approved in 2019.[35]

In July 2019, Campbell's agreed to sell its stake in the Kelsen Group for $300 million to a subsidiary of Ferrero SpA, with the transfer to be completed in 2020.[36] Campbell's also divested Arnott's Biscuits to KKR for $2.2 billion at the same time.

In August 2023, it was announced that Campbell's had acquired the Louisville, Colorado-headquartered food manufacturer Sovos Brands for $2.7 billion.[37]

Pop art


In 1962, artist Andy Warhol incorporated the familiar look of the Campbell's soup can with a series of pop art silkscreens, a theme he would return to off and on through the 1960s and 1970s. The first batch in 1962 were a series of 32 canvases. At first, the cans were accurate representations of actual Campbell's cans, but as his series progressed, they became more surrealistic, with Warhol experimenting with negative-reversed color schemes and other varied techniques (many of these which would be used on other Warhol paintings of the period, such as his celebrity silkscreens of the 1960s). The silkscreens themselves have become iconic pieces of pop art, with one in particular, Small Torn Campbell Soup Can (Pepper Pot) (1962), commanding a price of $11.8 million at auction in 2006.[38]


  • Mmm Mmm Good (1935–present—their predominantly used slogan)[39]
  • Give Me The Campbell Life (1969–75)
  • Soup Is Good Food (1975–c. 1982)
  • Never underestimate the power of soup! (1990s)
  • Possibilities (2005–2009)
  • So Many Many Reasons It's So Mmm Mmm Good (2009–2010)
  • It's Amazing What Soup Can Do! (2010–present)[40]
  • Made for real, Real life (2015–present)

Health issues


Many canned soups, including Campbell's condensed and chunky varieties, contain relatively high quantities of sodium and thus are not desirable for those on low-sodium diets. However, Campbell's Chunky, Healthy Request and other soups, as well as their V-8 and Tomato juices, are claimed by Campbell's to contain reduced sodium levels.[41]

In the fall of 2007, Campbell's was awarded a Certificate of Excellence from Blood Pressure Canada for their efforts in lowering sodium levels.[42]

By the fall of 2009, Campbell's claimed it had lowered the sodium content in 50% of its soups range.[43] In March 2010, this claim was challenged; ABC News reported that the low-sodium variety of Campbell soup in fact contained the same amount of sodium as the regular variety, and that Campbell's Healthy Request soup contained more fat than the regular variety.[44] In July 2011, citing sinking sales, the company increased the salt content of its products again.[45]

In December 2009, Consumer Reports found that major canned food companies including Campbell's Soup were producing tinned products with bisphenol A (BPA) levels over 100 ppb in some cases;[46] the testing revealed that just one serving of canned food would exceed an expert's recommendation for daily exposure (0.2 micrograms per kg body weight per day).[46]



Throughout 2012, Campbell's contributed $500,000 to a $46 million[47] political campaign known as "the Coalition Against the Costly Food Labeling Proposition, sponsored by farmers and food producers".[48] This organization was set up to oppose a citizens' initiative, known as Proposition 37, demanding mandatory labeling of foods containing genetically modified ingredients sold in California.

In January 2016, the company decided to support mandatory labeling and announced they would label their products that contained GMO additives.[49]



Campbell's owns numerous brands that it markets worldwide. Among these are the following:[50]


A can of Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup featuring the Paris International Exposition

The company's flagship brand and the Campbell's name is used to market soups, sauces, and canned meals. Product lines under the brand include:

  • Concentrated soups that are usually diluted with water or milk before eating
    • Campbell's Condensed Soups
    • Campbell's Healthy Request
  • Ready-to-eat soups that do not need additional water
    • Campbell's Chunky Soups
    • Campbell's Chunky Maxx
    • Campbell's Home Style
    • Campbell's Soup on the Go
    • Campbell's Slow Kettle Style
    • Campbell's Well Yes
  • Other products
    • Campbell's Pork and Beans
    • Campbell's Spaghetti
    • Campbell's SpaghettiOs
    • Campbell's Ready Meals
    • Campbell's Sauces
    • Campbell's tomato juice
    • V8 vegetable juice

Pepperidge Farm


An American baked-goods company founded in 1937, it was acquired by Campbell's in 1961. The Pepperidge Farm brand is used by Campbell's to market the following:

  • Breads
    • Sandwich breads
    • Swirl breads
    • Pepperidge Farm buns and rolls
    • Farmhouse breads
    • Bagels
    • Stuffing
    • Ecce Pannis breads
  • Crackers
  • Cookies
    • Milano
    • Farmhouse
    • Chunk
    • Distinctive
    • Pirouette
  • Desserts

Pace Foods


An American salsa company founded in 1947, Pace was acquired by Campbell's in 1995. The Pace brand is used by Campbell's to market salsas and picante sauce.


  • Broth
  • TV dinners and frozen meals (made by Pinnacle Foods under license)
  • Canned chicken


  • Pasta sauces



Late July Snacks


Late July Snacks is a subsidiary of the Campbell Soup Company, acquired in the Snyder's-Lance acquisition in early 2018. Snyder's-Lance had boosted their ownership stake in Late July Snacks to 80% in 2014.



United States



The former boiler house of the brewery in Lübeck, Germany





On June 22, 2010, Campbell's "SpaghettiOs and Meatballs" product was recalled after a Texas firm found possible traces of underprocessed meat in the product.[54]

See also





  1. ^ "Campbell Soup". Campbell Soup Company. Retrieved October 11, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c d e "Campbell Soup Company 2020 Form 10-K". Securities and Exchange Commission. Retrieved September 24, 2020.
  3. ^ "Campbell Soup". Fortune. Archived from the original on June 7, 2019. Retrieved November 11, 2020.
  4. ^ Courier-Post newspaper photo gallery of Campbell's Soup's early years in Camden, N.J.
  5. ^ a b c Martha Esposito Shea; Mike Mathis (2002). Campbell Soup Company. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 0-7385-1058-0.
  6. ^ a b Robert Heide; John Gilman (2006). New Jersey: Daytripping, Backroads, Eateries, Funky Adventures. St. Martin's Griffin. p. 129. ISBN 0-312-34156-3. The Campbell's Soup Company was begun when Joseph Campbell, a fruit merchant, and Abram Anderson, an icebox manufacturer, ... Arthur Dorance and Joseph Campbell then formed a new company called the Joseph Campbell Preserve Company. ...
  7. ^ Campbell Soup Can design, Campbell Soup Company. Newton, N.J.: Historic Conservation & Interpretation, Inc. 1999. OCLC 24632139.
  8. ^ Cox, J. (2008). Sold on Radio: Advertisers in the Golden Age of Broadcasting. McFarland, Incorporated, Publishers. p. 106. ISBN 978-0-7864-5176-0. Retrieved March 1, 2023.
  9. ^ "Campbell's Australia". Archived from the original on July 16, 2010. Retrieved July 26, 2010.
  10. ^ "West Laurel Hill - Dr. John Thompson Dorrance". Archived from the original on May 5, 2012. Retrieved July 26, 2010.
  11. ^ Campbell's Soup History: Introduction Archived March 6, 2008, at the Wayback Machine from Campbell's official website
  12. ^ Cross, Mary (2002). A Century of American Icons: 100 Products and Slogans from the 20th-Century Consumer Culture. Greenwood Press. pp. 5–6. ISBN 978-0313314810. Retrieved September 4, 2020.
  13. ^ "Tomatoes ARE Evil". Archived from the original on July 17, 2010. Retrieved July 26, 2010.
  14. ^ Condell, Patricia J; Historic Conservation & Interpretation (Firm : Patterson, N.J.); New Jersey Economic Development Authority (1991). Documentary research and photographic recording, Campbell Soup Company Plant No. 1, Camden, New Jersey. Newton, N.J.: Historic Conservation & Interpretation, Inc. OCLC 24632139.
  15. ^ Rutsch, Edward S; Fischer, Robert A; Historic Conservation & Interpretation (Firm : Patterson, N.J.); Cooper's Ferry Development Association (1987). Documentary research and photographic recording, Campbell Soup Company Plant No. 2, Camden, New Jersey. Newton, N.J.: Historic Conservation and Interpretation, Inc. OCLC 24632144.
  16. ^ "Campbell Soup end of era". Courier-Post. March 3, 1990. p. 1. Retrieved April 28, 2019.
  17. ^ "Campbell Soup announces four plant closings". UPI. Retrieved April 28, 2019.
  18. ^ "Campbell Shutdown Leaves Town in the Soup". Los Angeles Times. March 2, 1990. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved April 28, 2019.
  19. ^ "UK shops to lose famous soup can". BBC News. October 1, 2007.
  20. ^ Courier-Post newspaper photo gallery of Campbell's charity event
  21. ^ Courier-Post newspaper photo gallery of another Campbell's charity event
  22. ^ Courier-Post newspaper photo gallery of Campbell's topping-off ceremony
  23. ^ Farhi, Paul (October 18, 2010). "Simmering over Campbell's soups". The Washington Post. p. C1.
  24. ^ "Campbell's soup returns but not as Andy knew it".
  25. ^ "Campbell Soup to buy Bolthouse Farms for $1.55 billion". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on July 11, 2012. Retrieved July 10, 2012.
  26. ^ a b Van Allen, Peter (June 18, 2013). "Acquisition could open up China market for Campbell Soup". Philadelphia Business Journal. Retrieved June 20, 2013.
  27. ^ "Campbell Soup to buy salsa maker Garden Fresh for $231 million, Reuters, June 9, 2015". Reuters. Archived from the original on September 29, 2015. Retrieved June 30, 2017.
  28. ^ completed the acquisition
  29. ^ Pacific Foods of Oregon, LLC
  30. ^ Oyedele, Akin (December 18, 2017). "Campbell Soup is Buying Snacks Maker Snyder's-Lance for $4.87 Billion". Business Insider. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
  31. ^ Hirsch, Lauren (December 18, 2017). "Campbell Soup to Buy Snacks Company Snyder's-Lance for $4.87 Billion". CNBC. Retrieved January 24, 2018.
  32. ^ a b "Campbell Soup Is Shifting Canadian Production to Its U.S. Factories". January 24, 2018. Retrieved January 29, 2018.
  33. ^ LaMonica, Paul (May 18, 2018). "Campbell Soup CEO abruptly steps down". CNN. Retrieved May 19, 2018.
  34. ^ CNBC (December 20, 2018). "Campbell Soup names industry veteran Mark Clouse CEO". Retrieved December 21, 2018.
  35. ^ Wohl, Jessica (February 4, 2019). "No Chunky for You: Campbell's new trademark is likely to raise questions". Advertising Age. Vol. 90, no. 3. p. 15.
  36. ^ Walsh, Jim (July 12, 2019). "Campbell Soup agrees to sell Danish snack firm for $300 million". Cherry Hill Courier-Post. Retrieved July 12, 2019.
  37. ^ "Campbell Soup to acquire Sovos Brands for $2.7bn". FoodBev Media. August 8, 2023. Retrieved August 8, 2023.
  38. ^ "Andy Warhol's Campbell Soup Sells For $11.7 Million". ArtDaily. May 11, 2006. Retrieved January 6, 2021.
  39. ^ Berman, Margo (July 19, 2012). The Copywriter's Toolkit: The Complete Guide to Strategic Advertising Copy. John Wiley & Sons. p. 74. ISBN 978-1-4443-6081-3.
  40. ^ Faulkner, John (September 7, 2010). "Campbell Launches "It's Amazing What Soup Can Do" Ad Campaign to Promote Campbell's U.S. Soup Brands". Campbell Soup Company. Retrieved February 29, 2024.
  41. ^ Campbell's FAQ Archived February 9, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  42. ^ "VOLUME 1, ISSUE 4" (PDF). Blood Pressure Canada News. Blood Pressure Canada. October 23, 2007. Archived from the original (PDF) on May 27, 2008. Retrieved April 6, 2008.
  43. ^ 1st Campbell soup latest to go lower-sodium
  44. ^ "Campbell's soup label conundrum: Less is sometimes more". ABC7 San Francisco. Archived from the original on June 29, 2011. Retrieved May 11, 2019.
  45. ^ Weeks, Carly (September 6, 2012). "Campbell's adding salt back to its soups - The Globe and Mail". The Globe and Mail. Toronto. Archived from the original on May 23, 2016. Retrieved August 22, 2023.
  46. ^ a b "Results of our tests for BPA in canned foods".
  47. ^ "Who's Funding Prop 37, Labeling for Genetically Engineered Foods?". KCET. July 9, 2012. Archived from the original on January 17, 2013.
  48. ^ "Food Coalition: GMO Labeling Bill 'Deceptive And Costly'". Food Manufacturing. June 14, 2012. Retrieved June 21, 2024.
  49. ^ "Campbells Soup backs plan for mandatory GMO ingredient labeling", Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, January 8, 2016. Retrieved January 9, 2016.
  50. ^ "Our Brands". Campbell's Soup Company.
  51. ^ "Campbell Adds New Soup Line In Maxton, North Carolina; Expansion Will Create 50 New Jobs" (Press release). Campbell Soup Company. September 22, 2008. Retrieved July 9, 2017. Campbell began operating its Maxton facility in Robeson County in 1978.
  52. ^ Tom Spears (March 11, 1989). "The Dirty Dozen". The Toronto Star. p. D1 and D5.
  53. ^ Campbells tower
  54. ^ Texas Firm recalls 3 varieties of Spaghettios and Meatballs Archived June 22, 2010, at the Wayback Machine


  • Collins, Douglas (1994). America's Favorite Food: The Story of Campbell Soup Company. Harry N. Abrams, Inc. ISBN 0-8109-2592-3.
  • Shea, Martha Esposito, and Mathis, Mike (2002). Images of America: Campbell Soup Company. Arcadia Publishing. ISBN 0-7385-1058-0.
  • Sidorick, Daniel (2009). Condensed Capitalism: Campbell Soup and the Pursuit of Cheap Production in the Twentieth Century. Cornell University Press. ISBN 0-8014-4726-7.
  • Official website  
  • Business data for Campbell Soup Company:
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