Guest article provided by FoodFacts.com
Do you recall the older winter-time commercial of a snowman dragging his feet into his home from a blizzard; and sitting down to a bowl of hot chicken noodle soup? As he took one sip the snow melted off and what was left was a little boy with a huge smile. That’s Campbell’s. They’re marketing and ads have proven to be successful for many years now, because they are the most popular soup can on store shelves. Why? It could be their advertising, their coupons and incentives, or it could be their salt-filled broth that most Americans have grown to adore.
Fact of the matter is that people-love-salt. Salt on pasta, salt on eggs, salt on mashed potatoes, salt on chicken, the list goes on and on. Campbell’s took notice of this a LONG time ago. They’ve been producing soups with high sodium levels since they first opened their factories in 1869. One half-cup serving of their chicken noodle soup is 890mg of sodium. That’s almost HALF of your daily value of sodium for one day, in just HALF a cup. So basically, you consume one whole can, you’ve had your recommended sodium for the entire day in just 5 minutes, and maybe a little more.
Well, once the ball got rolling that our country and others are now facing huge numbers of heart disease, cancer, obesity, and diabetes, many people began to take initiatives to eat healthier. Which is great. Less people are buying Hungry-Man XXL frozen dinners, KFC fried chicken, Post Fruity Pebbles, etc. That’s when Kashi got more popular, Amy’s organic meals, and other products boasting natural ingredients, less sugar, and no cholesterol. Larger food companies, however, panicked. They’ve created products for years now, known for being tasty, fun and great, but are now all of a sudden detrimental to your health.
Campbell’s took a huge leap a few years back, cutting sodium by nearly half in most of their soup products. They even started a new line of healthier soups, Select Harvest. They figured, this is what people want, so they’re going to buy it; and these new products are going to fly off the shelves. Well we don’t have the exact numbers, but we’re sure millions at least tried the sodium-reduced soups. However, when you cut out such a hefty portion of sodium, you have to realize the taste will be very different. Also, Campbell’s didn’t slowly remove the salt, they ripped the band-aid and cut the amount by half all at once. For those who sought their products for taste rather than nutritional value, we’re assuming they didn’t like it. Sales steadily dropped over a period of time.
Campbell’s newly appointed CEO, Denise Morrison, announced that she had to bring sales and taste back to their product; with the return of salt. “For me it’s about stabilizing company sales first and then planning growth beyond that.” Morrison plans to continue selling the new sodium-pumped soups until they slowly begin to create healthier options again. However, sales and profit come first.