Contributed by Laurie Hyllberg, VP, Kinsa Group

I attended the FaB Wisconsin [Food and Beverage Wisconsin] Annual Meeting last Tuesday, Nov. 1 at Feeding America. The President and CEO of Campbell Soup Company, Denise Morrison, was the keynote speaker. Her presentation was a lot about the transformation of Campbell’s Purpose Statement “Real Food That Matters for Life’s Moments” and its effect on their company, employees, decision-making, and of course share $ growth from $32/share in 2011 to a peak over $60/share in 2016.

Here’s a Q&A of the top questions from Wisconsin food manufacturers:

1. “How did you integrate your [Campbell] culture with the companies you acquired? [Bolthouse Farms, Plum Organics, and others]” — Denise responded that the value systems of the acquired companies were similar, but the expression was different. A question Campbell’s asked themselves was “how far and how fast do we integrate it?” Campbell’s brought scale and standards where the company they acquired had market expertise and product knowledge. In some instances they elected to leave innovation, marketing and insights with the acquired company and integrate supply chain into Campbell.

2. “How does Campbell’s respond to trends in dieting?” — Denise shared about Campbell’s investment in a personalized nutrition technology called Habit that will tell us how food & diet is linked to our own DNA. Campbell is the sole investor in Habit, which is now launching with the purpose of tailoring personal nutrition recommendations that aim to avoid one-size-fit-all fad diets.

3. “Can you comment on the changes you’re seeing in traditional grocery?” — Denise responded with 1) expanding perimeters and shrinking center store space, 2) Online ordering experiments – pick-up or delivery, what makes the most sense and where, 3) Foodservice/Restaurants entering the Retail Grocery store space/shelves with products.

4. “How is Campbell’s responding to the GMO / non-GMO question?” — 1) Denise said Campbell’s appreciates the national standard, as it is impossible for a company their size with national distribution to edit labeling by state, 2) Campbell’s has invested in Transparency in their food ingredients and labeling as a part of their purpose statement and beliefs, 3) Educate the consumer about the safety of GMO’s currently in food they’ve been eating.

Kinsa Group is a proud member of FaB Wisconsin. If you’re interested in joining FaB Wisconsin, here’s a link to their Membership page.

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