Pitch Brief: Campbell’s Soup and Millennials? Well Yes!


By Max

Campbell Soup’s journey over the past several years is a study on how to find what your customers really care about - versus what you think they care about.
In 2013, Campbell’s Soup began explicitly targeting Millennials, trading their iconic cans for convenient microwavable pouches that were more portable and allowed for faster meal preparation.

They also developed new soup flavors to appeal to more multi-cultural tastes - Italian and Japanese ingredients weren’t nearly adventurous enough for the maturing Millennial market. And they changed their packaging to look more like Pinterest and Tumblr images, while urging consumers to create Spotify playlists inspired by soup flavors.

Trying too hard? Maybe.

By 2016, Campbell’s Soup stock prices fell, sales dipped and growth was recorded in negative numbers. They were still the leaders of the ready-to-serve wet soup industry, but they felt a distinct shift. In response, they announced plans to “elevate trust through real food, transparency and sustainability.”

They seem to have come to the conclusion that Millennials care less about what is cool, Pinterest-worthy, or packaged prettily and more about what’s inside the can.

Spoiler Alert: They’re right.

campbell soup targeting millennial consumers

As Campbell Soup Company CEO and president Denise Morrison said in a 2015 Fortune magazine article:

“Campbell identified four seismic shifts that are accelerating: demographic changes in the American family; an increase [sic] awareness in health and wellness; the ever-evolving digital landscape and global economic realignment with a shrinking middle class in developed markets and a burgeoning middle class in emerging markets. These shifts are having a profound impact on how consumers engage with food.”

Morrison said “we are reshaping our company to respond,” which they did in part by re-framing their company’s purpose:

“Real food that matters for life’s moments.”

In December of 2016, grocery store shelves got a little more colorful, trading in their red and white Campbell’s Soup cans that Warhol immortalized for the company’s new Well Yes! line of “clean” soups based on whole foods - aka. “Real ingredients everyone can recognize.

The Well Yes! campaign seemed to be off to a great start with spokesperson Busy Philipps and a shiny new hashtag #WellYesMoment, both speaking to the idea of creating small, positive moments as incremental steps to lasting positive change.

It’s a powerful message that still resonates.

While Campbell’s Soup isn’t unhappy with the performance of this campaign, they are looking for a new media buying and planning agency to take a more efficient, streamlined approach.

Get the facts you need to win this pitch with our latest Pitch Brief here!

millennials food trends

Meet the Millennial Clean Eaters

Millennial children were brought up in schools at a time when “pizza Thursdays” were called into question, candy bars were outlawed, soda was forcibly removed, and post-lunch-hour garbage cans turned green with uneaten vegetables (you can lead a kid to salad, but you can’t make him eat it).

In short, they’ve been raised to be health conscious.

As they mature into parents of their own young children, health is becoming an even higher priority, and they’re as attuned to the latest buzzwords like “clean” as they are fluent in the latest diet trends (Paleo, Mediterranean, Ketogenic).

Campbell’s commitment to using “clean” whole foods is tailor made for them. But to really reach this audience, Campbell’s - and the agency they hire - will have to know more about this market than what they eat

Millennials consumer insights

We did our own deep dive into the Millennial Clean Eaters in our latest Pitch Brief and found a few key characteristics:

  1. They’re mostly women, married, with children
  2. They’re price conscious and love a good coupon
  3. They enjoy cooking
  4. They really like avocados and many are gluten-free
  5. They read parents magazines and websites, but their favorite recipe website is Tablespoon.com

In just this short list, you have enough information to inspire several marketing campaigns - and a potentially profitable product tweak (more gluten-free soup options?). And these results are just the tip of the oyster cracker when you use Cubeyou Insights for yourself.

For more information on the wet soup market and the Millennial Clean Eaters, check out our latest Pitch Brief on Campbell’s Soup. Is it Mmm Mmm Good? Well, yes!


Topics: Knowledge; Infographic; New Business Pitch