Campbell Soup Company History

One Campbell Place
Camden, New Jersey 08103-1799

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

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:

Joseph Campbell and Abraham Anderson form a partnership, Anderson and Campbell, in Camden, New Jersey, to can tomatoes, vegetables, jellies, condiments, and mincemeat.
Partnership is dissolved; Campbell buys out Anderson's interest, changing the name of the firm to Joseph Campbell & Company.
New partnership is formed under the name Joseph Campbell Preserving Company.
Company successfully develops method of canning condensed soup.
Company's name changes to Joseph Campbell Company.
Campbell's soups are first marketed in California, providing the brand with national distribution.
Franco-American Food Company is acquired.
Company is incorporated as Campbell Soup Company.
Campbell ventures into radio advertising.
Company takes its stock public on the New York Stock Exchange.
Acquisition of C.A. Swanson & Sons, originator of the TV dinner, takes Campbell into frozen foods.
Pepperidge Farm, Incorporated is acquired.
Chunky ready-to-serve soups make their debut.
Campbell acquires full control of Godiva Chocolatier, Inc.
Vlasic Foods, Inc. is acquired.
Prego spaghetti sauces are introduced.
Campbell pays $1.1 billion for Pace Foods Ltd.
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.
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.