Campbell Soup’s sales buoyed by strong demand for straightforward meals during COVID-19 lockdowns

Following today’s news that Campbell Soup has announced net sales growth of 7.2% to US$2.34bn;

Ryan Whittaker, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view:

Campbell Soup’s strong sales in 2020 relative to 2019 testify to the increased demand for simple, nutritious and lower-calorie food items during lockdowns, furloughs and working from home. It appears that the brand is still growing, buoyed by strong demand for straightforward meals, albeit at a more subdued rate. The decision of Arnott’s Group to upgrade the Campbell Soup‘s plant in Shepparton, Australia, will bolster this growth, increasing the stability of supply to markets in the Asia-Pacific region.

“We’ve seen consumers worldwide being restricted to homes, eating out less and avoiding public transport. As a result, in-home consumption has shot up. In Asia-Pacific alone, 55%* of consumers have reported that they’re eating lunch out of home less frequently than before the pandemic, and 21%*2 of Asia-Pacific consumers say that they are buying more soup.

“Along with increased consumption at home, the soup segment had already been seeing signs of growth in the region on the back of its long shelf life and convenience. Consumers are leaning more towards healthier and convenient food products due to stresses relating to the pandemic and the economy, which also encourages deferring to value-for-money options. Canned soups can be stored on ambient shelves for long periods. Moreover, they contain vegetables and protein, they’re relatively cheap and they’re one of the easiest products to cook. Soup is also seen as a comforting staple with a lot of potential variation in flavors and textures; in many ways it is ideally placed to benefit from COVID-19 and lockdowns, both of which reduce eating out.

For brands aiming to replicate Campbell’s success, the focus should target value-for-money, convenience, long shelf-life and nutritious content. We can predict that the areas most affected by COVID-19 and lockdowns will have the highest interest in canned soupfor the near future.”

*GlobalData’s COVID-19 recovery tracker – Asia – published December 07 – combined responses: “I will eat this outside my home significantly less frequently than before” “I will eat this outside my home slightly less frequently than before” and “I will stop eating this outside my home”

*2 GlobalData’s COVID-19 recovery tracker – Asia – published December 07 – combined responses: “I am stockpiling or buying in bulk”, “I am buying significantly more than before”, “I am buying slightly more than before.” “I have never bought this but have started buying now”

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