- Denise Morrison, CEO of Campbell Soup Co., said the company looks "beyond a typical five-year horizon" and aims to anticipate food industry disruptions "driven by the intersection of real food, health, well-being and technology," according to the Boston Business Journal. This new business strategy focuses on concepts she referred to as "future commerce," "limitless local" and "better-dot-me."
- Morrison described "future commerce" as a fully-automated, instant and flexible experience that will go beyond traditional e-commerce channels, including "connected kitchens" that will automatically refill consumer staples based on their habits. "Limitless local" refers to growing consumer demand for smaller and more regional farming and food production that focus on quality, authenticity and community.
- "Better-dot-me" focuses on the future of the personalized nutrition trend that is already changing the food space. Morrison said this trend led Campbell to fund Habit, a startup that sells at-home nutrition test kits and synthesizes data to create personalized diets for consumers.
Morrison's three-pronged focus on the future of food reflects trends to which the industry is already scrambling to adapt. Still, Campbell is wise to prepare for the evolution of these movements, as they have already had significant impact on manufacturers in recent years.
It's no surprise that the future of commerce involves e-commerce, as emerging digital technologies and new forms of currency are altering consumer purchasing patterns. Locally sourced ingredients from small farms and producers have been increasing for some time. Many major brands have mimicked smaller, more mission-focused competitors by adopting better animal welfare standards and incorporating organic ingredients into their formulas.
Perhaps the most interesting forecast of Campbell's future-facing strategy is the evolution of the personalized nutrition trend. Over the past couple of years, Campbell has made a concerted effort to increase its fresh packaged foods segment in an effort to capitalize on consumer demand for better-for-you products. It seems this kind of innovation will be a major part of the company's future.
It will be interesting to see if Habit's at-home nutrition test kits will really become standard practice for consumers, or simply a very niche trend. Regardless, Campbell's investment in the startup seems wise, as consumer demand for customized nutritional options shows no sign of slowing down.