Campbell Soup CEO Denise Morrison is retiring from her position — one she’s held since 2011 — and in the wake of her departure, the company said that it would be conducting a “strategic review” of their soup offerings to revive lagging sales.
According to US News and World Report, Keith McLoughlin will immediately take over as the Campbell Soup CEO, but he will only serve in an interim role.
One of the biggest challenges that the company faces is the fact that their sales have been on the steady decline.
When the NYSE opening bell rang today, May 18, the company reported a drop in sales of more than 12 percent.
The reason for the New Jersey-based company’s declining sales, according to them, is the fact that American tastes in food are changing — people are moving away from food that is processed, canned, and unhealthy, and moving toward food that is natural, organic, and healthy.
And even though the company recently acquired the Snyder-Lance snack company — makers of potato chips, pretzels, and popcorn — they still posted a loss of $393 million in the third quarter.
Because of this, Campbell Soup expects to post a loss in their 2018 earnings of between 5 and 6 percent, which is a significant increase in loss from their 1 to 2 percent from the previous year.
The Washington Post has some speculation about the direction that Campbell Soup plans to go in order to increase sales. First, the company is developing their “boutique” sub-brands like Well Yes, Garden Fresh Gourmet, and Souplicity. These brands are tailored to different consumers, but each is focused on “simple, healthful ingredients.”
Second, and perhaps most importantly, they’re shifting their advertising efforts toward millennials. This strategy has worked, most recently for companies like Kraft Heinz, ConAgra, and Mondelez International, and they all say that they’re trying to entice people “to the center aisles” of the supermarket by meeting them at their level.
Finally, but no less importantly, Campbell Soup says that they’ll be offering more refrigerated options (such as in their Souplicity line) that place the focus on the quality of the food rather than the convenience of “the can.”