Campbell Soup CEO: ‘There has been a meaningful decline in the performance of the packaged food sector’

By Elaine Watson contact

- Last updated on GMT

Denise Morrison: 'Our industry is now in a period of profound change and challenge'
Denise Morrison: 'Our industry is now in a period of profound change and challenge'

Related tags: Campbell soup, Campbell soup company

While there were some bright spots in Campbell Soup's fourth quarter results, its performance in core categories such as ready-to-serve soup was a bit lackluster, CEO Denise Morrison told analysts Monday.

"We continued to make progress in reshaping Campbell, although we recognize that it is taking longer than originally anticipated," ​said Morrison, who said she was pleased with sales of Prego pasta sauces and Campbell’s dinner sauces, but disappointed by the poor performance of condensed and ready to serve soups.

She added: "There has been a meaningful decline in the performance of the packaged food sector.”

However, recent acquisition The Kelsen Group has given the firm access to faster-growing markets in China and Hong Kong, while the Bolthouse Farms deal has given Campbell Soup a strong foothold in the fast-growing packaged fresh food category, she said.

Meanwhile, “breakthrough innovations​” such as taking the V8 brand into protein bars and shakes will position the company well for the future, she added.

"Looking ahead, we plan to deliver modest growth in fiscal 2015, despite a consumer environment that is likely to remain challenging.”

To continue to its expansion into faster growing spaces, the firm is focused on four things, she said:

  • Accelerating break-through innovation​: 200 new products are being launched this year.
  • Becoming a leader in packaged fresh foods.
  • Expanding and developing markets in Asia​ and Latin America.
  • Increasing product availability, particularly in immediate consumption channels and e-commerce.

In the latest quarter, Campbell Soup's earnings from continuing operations rose 17% to $137m, while revenues climbed 7% to $1.85bn.

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