business news in context, analysis with attitude

The Philadelphia Inquirer has an interview with Campbell Soup CEO Mark Clouse in which he prognosticates about how he plans to revitalize the company.

Some excerpts:

On ingredient transparency: "I call it kitchen logic. If I see ingredients in a product that exist in my kitchen or my pantry, then I feel pretty good about it. I can pronounce them. I recognize them. I understand what they are. The pivot on health and wellness is all about unwinding processing, simplifying ingredient lines. It’s not about adding 12 things to the product. It’s really about making sure consumers know what’s in it."

On strategy: "If I didn’t say the word soup to you, if I said vegetables, if I said protein, if I said convenience, if I said value, if I told you those four attributes without saying the word soup, you’d say those are very relevant attributes for consumers today, and not just boomers or older consumers, but also for millennials and younger ones. Now, how do we take the platform of soup and make it relevant? That’s what the turnaround strategy is built upon, which is: One, let’s take the base form, which is center of the bowl, and let’s improve the relevance."

An example of what shape this might take: "“Imagine that format of a handheld cup, where the base is a bone broth that can deliver 6 to 8 grams of protein. Now imagine it flavored and infused with tea extract, so it also delivers caffeine, as an afternoon snack … This is where we are the best. There is no one that makes soup better than us.”
KC's View:
Campbell has a lot of legacy on its side, but I fear we live in a world where that matters less than ever before. The question is whether it can be relevant and resonant to a population of young people for whom soup doesn't ideally come in a can.