Campbell Soup Company History

Address:
One Campbell Place
Camden, New Jersey 08103-1799
U.S.A.

Telephone: (856) 342-4800
Toll Free: 800-257-8443
Fax: (856) 342-3878

Website:
Public Company
Incorporated: 1922
Employees: 24,000
Sales: $7.11 billion (2004)
Stock Exchanges: New York Philadelphia Swiss
Ticker Symbol: CPB
NAIC: 311422 Specialty Canning; 311330 Confectionery Manufacturing from Purchased Chocolate; 311412 Frozen Specialty Food Manufacturing; 311421 Fruit and Vegetable Canning; 311423 Dried and Dehydrated Food Manufacturing; 311812 Commercial Bakeries; 311813 Frozen Cakes, Pies, and Other Pastries Manufacturing; 311821 Cookie and Cracker Manufacturing; 311919 Other Snack Food Manufacturing; 311941 Mayonnaise, Dressing, and Other Prepared Sauce Manufacturing

Company Perspectives:

In July 2001, we launched a bold plan--and made a massive commitment--to transform Campbell Soup Company. Despite many challenges, it is now clear that we have renewed, revitalized, and reinvigorated our company and put it back on a growth track. We've rebuilt our organization, recharged our brands, and reinforced our market positions around the world. We are clearly better as a company, and ready for the next phase of our transformation: driving quality growth in everything we do.

Key Dates:

1869:
Joseph Campbell and Abraham Anderson form a partnership, Anderson and Campbell, in Camden, New Jersey, to can tomatoes, vegetables, jellies, condiments, and mincemeat.
1876:
Partnership is dissolved; Campbell buys out Anderson's interest, changing the name of the firm to Joseph Campbell & Company.
1882:
New partnership is formed under the name Joseph Campbell Preserving Company.
1899:
Company successfully develops method of canning condensed soup.
1905:
Company's name changes to Joseph Campbell Company.
1911:
Campbell's soups are first marketed in California, providing the brand with national distribution.
1915:
Franco-American Food Company is acquired.
1922:
Company is incorporated as Campbell Soup Company.
1931:
Campbell ventures into radio advertising.
1954:
Company takes its stock public on the New York Stock Exchange.
1955:
Acquisition of C.A. Swanson & Sons, originator of the TV dinner, takes Campbell into frozen foods.
1961:
Pepperidge Farm, Incorporated is acquired.
1970:
Chunky ready-to-serve soups make their debut.
1974:
Campbell acquires full control of Godiva Chocolatier, Inc.
1978:
Vlasic Foods, Inc. is acquired.
1981:
Prego spaghetti sauces are introduced.
1995:
Campbell pays $1.1 billion for Pace Foods Ltd.
1998:
Company spins off its specialty foods segment, including Vlasic pickles and Swanson frozen foods; Campbell is now focused on four core areas: soups, sauces and beverages, biscuits and confectionery, and foodservice.
2001:
Several European dry soup and bouillon brands are acquired from Unilever for $900 million; under new leader Douglas R. Conant, Campbell launches major revitalization program.

Company History:

Further Reading:

  • Barrett, Amy, "Campbell Soup: Hail to the Chef," Financial World, June 11, 1991, pp. 52-54.
  • ------, "Campbell's Wet Noodles," Business Week, January 25, 1999, p. 48.
  • ------, "Souping Up Campbell's," Business Week, November 3, 1997, pp. 70, 72.
  • Berman, Phyllis, and Alexandra Alger, "Reclaiming the Patrimony," Forbes, March 14, 1994, p. 50.
  • Branch, Shelly, "Campbell Bets on Famous Old Slogan to Pull It Out of Sales Slump," Wall Street Journal, September 6, 2000, p. B1.
  • ------, "Campbell's Soup Shipments Rise As Buyers Stock Pantries," Wall Street Journal, November 15, 2001, p. B4.
  • ------, "Campbell to Buy Soup Brands of Unilever," Wall Street Journal, January 30, 2001, p. B11.
  • Briggs, Jean A., and Barbara Rudolph, "Mmm, Mmm, Not So Good," Forbes, December 7, 1981, pp. 44+.
  • "Campbell: Now It's M-M-Global," Business Week, March 15, 1993, pp. 52-54.
  • "Campbell Soup: Widening Its Menu and Looking Beyond Food," Business Week, August 11, 1980, pp. 85+.
  • Collins, Douglas, America's Favorite Food: The Story of Campbell Soup Company, New York: Abrams, 1994, 216 p.
  • Donlon, J.P., "Top Spoon Stirs It Up," Chief Executive, November 1996, pp. 44-47.
  • Dugas, Christine, and Anthony Bianco, "Marketing's New Look: Campbell Leads a Revolution in the Way Consumer Products Are Sold," Business Week, January 26, 1987, pp. 64+.
  • Dwyer, Steve, "Red Alert: The Soup's Back On," Prepared Foods, September 1997, pp. 14-16, 18, 21, 23.
  • Eklund, Christopher S., "Campbell Soup's Recipe for Growth: Offering Something for Every Palate," Business Week, December 24, 1984, pp. 66+.
  • Ellison, Sarah, "Campbell Hopes Portable Soups Will Reheat Its Sluggish Sales," Wall Street Journal, February 18, 2003, p. B4.
  • ------, "Inside Campbell's Big Bet: Heating Up Condensed Soup," Wall Street Journal, July 31, 2003, p. A1.
  • Fairclough, Gordon, "Campbell's Recipe for Higher Profit: Reheat Soup Sales," Wall Street Journal, May 19, 1999, p. B6.
  • "From Soup to Nuts and Back to Soup," Business Week, November 5, 1990, pp. 114, 116.
  • Glosserman, Brad, "Campbell Soup Works for Spill Over Effect," Japan Times Weekly International Edition, May 11-May 17, 1992, p. 17.
  • Grant, Linda, "Stirring It Up at Campbell," Fortune, May 13, 1996, p. 80.
  • Hays, Constance L., "Will Goldfish Tactics Help Campbell's Soups?," New York Times, October 18, 1998, sec. 3, p. 4.
  • A History, Camden, N.J.: Campbell Soup Company, 1988.
  • Mastrull, Diane, "Campbell and Pace Recipe: A Mixing of Disparate Cultures," Philadelphia Business Journal, February 17, 1995, pp. 1, 27, 28.
  • Nulty, Peter, "The National Business Hall of Fame," Fortune, March 11, 1991, pp. 98-103.
  • O'Connell, Vanessa, "Campbell Decides Its IQ Health Meals May Be Ahead of the Curve for Foods," Wall Street Journal, April 27, 1998, p. B8.
  • ------, "Campbell Sees Profit Shortfall and Stock Gets Creamed," Wall Street Journal, January 12, 1999, p. B4.
  • ------, "Changing Tastes Dent Campbell's Canned-Soup Sales," Wall Street Journal, April 28, 1998, pp. B1, B25.
  • ------, "How Campbell Saw a Breakthrough Menu Turn into Leftovers," Wall Street Journal, October 6, 1998, pp. A1, A12.
  • Pehanich, Mike, "Brand Power," Prepared Foods, Mid-April 1993, pp. 38-40, 42.
  • Saporito, Bill, "Campbell Soup Gets Piping Hot," Fortune, September 9, 1991, pp. 142-48.
  • ------, "The Fly in Campbell's Soup," Fortune, May 9, 1988, pp. 67+.
  • "Seizing the Dark Day," Business Week, January 13, 1992, pp. 26-28.
  • Sim, Mary B., History of Commercial Canning in New Jersey, Trenton, N.J.: New Jersey Agricultural Society, 1951.
  • Weber, Joseph, "Campbell Is Bubbling, but for How Long?," Business Week, June 17, 1991, pp. 56-57.
  • ------, "M'm! M'm! Bad! Trouble at Campbell Soup," Business Week, September 25, 1989, pp. 68+.
  • ------, "What's Not Cookin' at Campbell's," Business Week, September 23, 1996, p. 40.
  • Wentz, Laurel, "Europe: How Smart Marketers Cash In," Advertising Age, December 2, 1991, pp. S-1, S-9.
  • Wimp, Marilyn, "Campbell Spins Off Frozen Food, Pickles," Philadelphia Business Journal, March 27, 1998, p. 20.

Source: International Directory of Company Histories, Vol. 71. St. James Press, 2005.