Old Favorites Take a New Twist
Hurst, Contributing Editor, RetailWire
Campbell has decided to – cautiously – update some of the recipes
on its cans in line with American’s more refined gourmet tastes.
In a recent
article, the Wall Street Journal explains, “America’s
increasingly sophisticated palate, influenced by TV cooking shows, celebrity
chefs and gourmet ingredients, presents a problem. Food companies need to
figure out how to update their recipes to entice today’s more ambitious cooks
to use products that might otherwise sit on the shelf for months. The recipes
must make cooks feel like they’re doing more than just adding eggs to a mix,
but not use so many ingredients to require a special trip to the store. If
they get too trendy, they risk alienating their core consumers.”
One new dish, Chicken With Sun-Dried Tomatoes, will start appearing in August.
Freiman, who oversees the Campbell’s HQ test kitchen, says that it “pushes
gently…We are looking for familiar, with a twist.” Campbell’s
development team believes customers want simple, reliable, recipes without
too many “unfamiliar ingredients or techniques.”
It is estimated that 85 to 95 percent of cream-of-mushroom soup sales
are used for cooking each year with some 30 million used between Thanksgiving
and Christmas to make the Green Bean Casserole recipe created in 1955.
comes as Campbell reported American sales of its soups fell 8 percent in the fourth
While other manufacturers agonize in the same way over formulas that strike
the right balance, Hellmann’s has an entire website devoted to its Real Food
Project. Designed to help mothers produce every day and special occasion
meals for their family consisting of “simple, delicious” foods,
an assortment of recipes, tips and videos is presented by chef Bobby Flay.
A combination of celebrities and real people explain what they consider to
be real food and how mayonnaise can be used to create it.
One way and another,
cooks are being encouraged to get into their kitchens and add a twist to what
they find on supermarket shelves, flavoring their meals with a sense of achievement.
Discussion Questions: Are consumers ready for trendy new recipes on cans?
Will it encourage them to be more adventurous and buy other ingredients that
may not be in their store cupboards?
- For Old Labels, a Little Zest – The Wall Street
- Campbell’s CEO questioned on soup as sales fall – Reuters
- Hellmann’s, Best Foods Launch ‘Real Food Project’ – Media