- Campbell has announced the upcoming debut of its new ready-to-serve soup line, Well Yes, set to launch in January.
- Well Yes combines the convenience of ready-to-serve soup with better-for-you ingredients like kale, quinoa and lean protein.
- Positioned in Campbell's Americas Simple Meals and Beverages unit, the brand may be a strategy to inspire a turnaround in the segment, which saw sales decline by 3% in the latest reported quarter.
Campbell adopted somewhat of a startup mentality while bringing this new product to fruition, starting with innovation directly from employees. A group of women who work at the company had the idea for Well Yes and worked with company chefs, product developers and marketers to create it.
The group's process bringing the product to market upended traditional launches at Campbell and accelerated an initial fiscal 2018 launch to January 2017. Major manufacturers are often slower to bring products from idea to store shelves. Startups are revered for their ability to put out new products more quickly and generate innovations that keep up with or push new consumer trends. Here, Campbell may have had a taste of that experience.
However, Well Yes is still a brand of canned soup, a category consumers have increasingly shifted away from, going instead to what they deem to be fresher—rather than processed—foods. Also, canned soup can be high in sodium and sugar, both of which today's consumers are avoiding.
Innovation in the category exists, but it tends to push the needle more than Campbell's new product. That includes RTD soups, such as Tio Gazpacho, for which General Mills' 301 Inc. led an investment round earlier this year, and Züpa Noma, the first brand under Sonoma Brands' incubator. While Well Yes is ready to serve, it's not as convenient as RTD soups, which fall under the fast-growing liquid meal replacement category.