Campbell Canada promoted senior director of marketing Moya Brown to the position of VP marketing on Oct. 10, and considering she’s a company veteran with 12 years under her belt, the transition hasn’t been hard. Brown has been lauded for leading the revitalizations of both Campbell’s Ready-to-Serve and Chunky soup lines, which have meant nearly 50 new flavours appearing on shelves since February of this year, and the industry is eager to see what her leadership role will bring to the firm.
The Vancouver native chatted about the strategy behind the revamp, how the Campbell’s consumer is changing and her vision for the future of the soup, snacking and beverage giant.
What are your big-picture plans for marketing the constellation of products at Campbell Canada?
From an external marketplace perspective, our goals are to continue to grow our core soup business and strengthen that business through the revitalization plan that we started. The other pieces of our business are around expanding into faster-growing spaces. The Pepperidge Farm snacking business is a big powerhouse brand for us [and] additionally, our beverage business and the V8 brand.
Internally, it’s a great opportunity to ensure that we have the great structure to really deliver against our objectives and goals that are referenced for the marketplace. One of our key areas… is really focusing on digital and social, and taking a truly strategic and integrated approach to all our marketing and communication strategies and plans.
Who is the Campbell’s consumer today, and how have they changed?
We have a whole host of ways we collect insights, everything from qualitative and live connecting with them one-on-one to shopper data to more of the quantitative Nielsen-type data. On Chunky, we’ve really refocused on men—50% of its users are men. That’s high for the soup category. [The Chunky man is] a really good-natured guys’ guy, loves a healthy dose of competition. There are not a lot of food companies talking to men directly.
There’s another area around really passionate cooks and kitchen-masters who are very confident in the kitchen and get a lot of energy from being in kitchen. There’s definitely a growing trend toward cooking. People are becoming much more food-savvy. You see that with the rise of farmers’ markets and people being much more interested and knowledgeable about food and where it comes from and how to prepare it. That’s been driven both by empty-nesters who have more time to spend on cooking, and also younger people and the whole Instagram phenomenon of going to dinner and snapping photos of what you’re eating, and we see that now happening at home.
How is Campbell’s changing to cater to these increasingly ingredient-aware consumers?
With our the ready-to-eat soups, we relaunched our mainstream premium brands and consolidated them into one brand, called Everyday Gourmet. That line offers really delicious food with really unique ingredients that a passionate foodie would be aware of. Within the Everyday Gourmet line, we have Sweet Potato Tomatillo [and] Thai Coconut.
On the cooking side we have a very large business in ingredients. What’s really important is going back to the product quality. On our broth line this year we’re rolling out, on our beef broth SKUs, a 100% natural flavours claim and a very clean list of ingredients. That’s important to our consumer—they’re very selective about their ingredients. It will be on all broths, but we started with our beef broths.
How do you maintain the nostalgia and comfort of the brand while innovating?
There are couple of key pieces that allow us to maintain the nostalgia. Even just the script of “Campbell’s” and having a huge commitment to maintaining that. Using a really longstanding tag around “Mmm Mmm Good.” We’ve found a balance over the past years in how to hang on to those pieces, but propel us forward. In our ready-to-serve business this year, we’ve launched a new campaign around a grandma who is feisty because Campbell’s has improved our soups so much that her soups have serious competition.
Considering Campbell Soup’s 2012 acquisition of Bolthouse Farms and movement further into the snacking and beverage categories, how many new products will launch in the next year?
We’ve probably launched 10 to 15 new SKUs this fiscal year; we had a major launch in Pepperidge Farm with Sweet Crisps, a cracker chip but with the flavour profile of a cookie. Our next fiscal year starts August 2015, and we’ll have a whole new slate we’re working on now. We will continue expanding across the board. I can’t give many details, but on Chunky, we’re in our second year of partnership with Movember. This year we’re offering limited-edition cans with special labels. Those will come in in October and November.