- Campbell executives outlined a series of growth initiatives that reflect "higher aspirations for the food we make, the role we play in people’s lives and improving our growth trajectory," Campbell president and CEO Denise Morrison said Wednesday at the company's annual investor meeting.
- The four "strategic imperatives" include: "Elevate trust through real food, transparency and sustainability; Build digital and e-commerce capabilities; Continue to diversify Campbell’s portfolio in health and well-being with fresh, organic and healthful foods; and expand Campbell’s presence in developing markets," according to a news release.
- The strategies center around the concept of "real food," which Campbell believes should be "made with recognizable, desirable ingredients from plants or animals," "responsibly crafted using ethical sourcing and sustainable practices that safeguard natural resources," and "should always be delicious, safe and available at a fair price—all three without compromise," said Morrison.
Specific initiatives supporting this "real food" movement include commitments to remove artificial colors and flavors from its North American products by the end of 2018 and using only antibiotic-free chicken in its products, which the company will implement over the next few years.
Campbell is also embracing other consumer health trends to offset lagging packaged food sales by focusing on investments in its Campbell Fresh segment. The first product from that effort is Bolthouse Farms Plant Protein Milk, a non-dairy pea protein-based milk that enables Campbell to compete in the fast-growing plant-based dairy category.
This product also enables Campbell to launch into somewhat unfamiliar territory: the dairy aisle. Being along the perimeter is crucial for food and beverage companies today, as more foot traffic in retail stores is moving from the center store to the perimeter. While companies like Kellogg are focusing on the produce section, Campbell already has a presence there with brands like Bolthouse Farms and Garden Fresh Gourmet.
Aside from ingredient and product-related commitments, Campbell has also moved to increase transparency of its products and operations. This includes being the first major manufacturer to commit to labeling GMO ingredients in its products earlier this year, developing the Campbell’s Real Food Index to track the progress of its ingredient commitments, including that index and other product details on the company's website, www.whatsinmyfood.com, and being among the beta test companies for the Center for Food Integrity's transparency index.
Campbell's reaffirmed commitments to health and wellness, digital strategy, and transparency echo sentiments from the company's CAGNY presentation in February.