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December 4, 2002 at 2:34 PM EST

Campbell Reinvents Condensed Soup...Starting With the ABC's; A Family Favorite is One of 10 Improved Vegetable Varieties Introduced this Month

CAMDEN, N.J.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec. 4, 2002--The soup that has helped kids learn to spell for generations is now better than ever. Campbell Soup Company announced today that 40 percent more letters have been added to its classic Vegetable soup, known and loved by millions as "Alphabet Soup." The improvement is part of a message that Campbell is sending to its consumers - it's time to rediscover the condensed soups you thought you knew. Vegetable (Alphabet) is just one of 10 vegetable varieties that are part of the first upgrade for all of Campbell's condensed soups.

A favorite since 1899, Vegetable soup is one of the first varieties introduced by the famous soup maker. Letters were added to the soup in 1915 and kids have been spelling their names in the soup ever since. A meatless version, Vegetarian Vegetable, was introduced in 1937 and in 1969, the soup officially became known as "The Alphabet Soup" - a moniker still on the label today.

In addition to Vegetable (Alphabet), family favorites like Vegetable Beef, Minestrone, Old Fashioned Vegetable, and six others have been upgraded - resulting in soups with dramatically improved flavors, colors and textures. This is due to a significant investment by Campbell in a cold blending technology to improve the company's condensed soups. This process allows Campbell to put more ingredients in each can. In addition to adding 40 percent more letters to Vegetable (Alphabet), there is also 20 percent more beef in Vegetable Beef and more vegetables in each of the 10 vegetable varieties.

"The cold blend process enables Campbell to uniquely deliver truer flavors, tastier ingredients and brighter, clearer, more delicious broths to our consumers," explains Michael Ferry, business director for Campbell's condensed soups. "This dramatic quality improvement will make consumers think about condensed soups in a whole new way."

The improvements to the vegetable varieties are the first in Campbell's three-year plan to overhaul condensed soup. Next year, the Fun Favorites line and Chicken Rice varieties will also be improved, with plans for nearly the entire condensed soup line to be upgraded by 2005.

Unparalleled Marketing Plan

Campbell's commitment to condensed soups starts with the products themselves and extends to the overall marketing support for its brands. The company is launching an ambitious marketing plan to support the new soup improvements, beginning with advertising, which breaks this week. The fully-integrated plan also includes aggressive in-store couponing and consumer promotions. The varieties will also be featured on the front cover of a nationally-distributed freestanding insert on December 8, which will include a coupon for $1.00 off two of the improved vegetable varieties. This is the most valuable coupon for condensed soup ever offered by Campbell Soup Company.

"This is the largest marketing initiative ever for our vegetable varieties," said Ferry. "We are putting more support behind these improvements than any other condensed soup effort this year. This is indicative of our confidence in this initiative. We know that when consumers taste these soups they'll love them," Ferry added.

The improved varieties include:

  • Vegetable Beef

  • Vegetable (Alphabet)

  • Vegetarian Vegetable (Alphabet)

  • Minestrone

  • Beef with Vegetables and Barley

  • Old Fashioned Vegetable

  • Chicken Vegetable

  • Hearty Vegetable with Pasta

  • Southwest-style Chicken Vegetable

  • California-style Vegetable

All varieties are available in 10 1/2 or 10 3/4 ounce cans at an average retail price of $1.02. Vegetable Beef and Vegetable (Alphabet) are also available in 26 1/4 ounce Family Size cans with suggested retail prices of $1.95 and $1.67, respectively. The improved varieties will carry a label burst that reads "Better Than Ever...More Vegetables" and are located in the new, easier-to-find "beef vegetable" and "chicken" areas of the condensed soup section at grocery stores nationwide.

About Campbell Soup Company

Campbell Soup Company is a global manufacturer and marketer of high quality soup, sauce, beverage, biscuit, confectionery and prepared food products. The company owns a portfolio of more than 20 market-leading businesses each with more than $100 million in sales. For more information on the company, visit Campbell's website on the Internet at www.campbellsoup.com.

Note: A photo is available at URL:
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--30--SF/ph*

CONTACT: Campbell Soup Company
Juli Mandel Sloves, 856/342-3717
juli_mandel_sloves@campbellsoup.com
or
Porter Novelli
Emily Kleinman, 202/973-1389
ekleinman@porternovelli.com


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