Campbell's Soup is debuting FlavorUp

The Lempert Report
October 11, 2022

On today’s Bullseye Campbell Soup is debuting FlavorUp, a concentrated flavor addition for use in proteins, grains or vegetables. The flavoring squeeze bottles come in three flavors: Rich Garlic & Herb, Savory Mushroom & Herb, and Caramelized Onion & Burgundy Wine. Linda Lee, chief marketing officer of Campbell Soup’s U.S. Meals and Beverage division told Grocery Dive “We’ve seen at-home cooking occasions continue to stay above pre-pandemic levels while Americans’ lives continue to get busier FlavorUp “is the newest way to cook up concentrated flavor with just a squeeze, while elevating meals quickly and affordably.” The company is hoping that FlavorUp will be placed near herbs and spices in stores, marking Campbell’s first venture into the seasoning aisle and providing it with further brand exposure beyond its customary categories.

No, wait – Campbell’s also had a major disaster the last time they tried this with their line of Fresh Chef soups and salads. They didn’t understand refrigerated distribution and their sales force frankly didn’t know the dairy buyers where they wanted this product line to be placed. Oh yea, and then there was the reality that the consumer was a bit confused as why they were paying a lot more for refrigerated soups that had a shelf life of, if I remember correctly 6 months. And then there was the whole issue of what their salads tasted like…wasn’t the best cole slaw I ever tried. And they also included a line of sauces – maybe the inspiration for FlavorUp? I hope not! You know the canned soup aisle very well. Stay there. The company says that FlavorUp is designed to target busy Millennials who “enjoy restaurant-quality meals”, but are time starved in meal prep. Really? The last survey I read showed that Millennials love to cook and were very concerned about the cost of foods these days.  I have not tried FlavorUp – so I want to be as fair as possible – and for Campbell’s sake I hope the ingredients are clean and the flavors fantastic – but my advice is stick to what you know – product and distribution wise. And focus on your core business. Your reformulation of potato soup is just one example. Maybe because of the cost of ingredients and you don’t want to raise prices – but the label now shows water as the first ingredients – for decades the first ingredient was potato.

Not a good move. Shoppers notice. You now just made our list of the top ten “skimpflation” brands.