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Campbell debuts Chunky Soup ads with Chargers’ star, unveils new foods at trade show

BY Jenna Duncan

CAMDEN, N.J. Campbell Soup Co. has been busily planning several launches for 2008. The newest in its ad campaign for Campbell’s Chunky Soup is a spot featuring LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego Chargers’ running back, the company announced today.

Campbell said it selected Tomlinson as a spokesman because he is known as one of the NFL’s most hard-working, generous and humble players. The Campbell ads featuring for the 2008 campaign are titled, “Working Day.” They went into production earlier this week in Los Angeles.

Campbell’s Chunky soups brand manager, Doug Brand, said, “As we enter our 11th consecutive season with the NFL, we are excited to introduce a new and different approach for this year’s advertising campaign S We are delighted to have LaDainian Tomlinson back for a second season and believe he is the foundation for the outstanding evolution of this new campaign. LaDainian is a stand-out athlete who truly represents all of the qualities of the Chunky soup brand—big-hearted, hardworking and fun—making him a natural fit as our spokesperson.”

Campbell also unveiled yesterday its new product line for the 2008-09 fiscal year at this year’s Food Marketing Institute meeting. The new group of foods is health- and vegetable-oriented and includes updates to some of Campbell’s soup lines, new Swanson cooking stocks and new flavors of Pace salsas.

Campbell’s said it has added two soups to its Healthy Request line; chicken corn chowder and sirloin burger with country vegetables. Both selections are lower sodium than traditional Campbell soups.

The company has also announced in February is has plans to revamps its whole line of Campbell’s Kids soups to bring them up to par with the government’s standard for “healthy” foods.

Consumers may visit www.chunky.com for more details on Campbell’s Chunky soups.

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Nestea announces new flavors, new bottle

BY Jenna Duncan

ATLANTA Nestea is getting a makeover, producer Coca-Cola said Friday. The beverage maker said that it plans to add new flavors and revamp the Nestea brand’s packaging to beat competition in the U.S. tea market.

New Nestea bottles will land in stores this month with bold labels and a slimmer design. Coke said the design change was geared to make the tea stand out from soft drinks. New Nestea flavors, Green Tea Citrus and Diet Green Tea Citrus, are being rolled out with 50 percent more antioxidants than the Nestea green tea currently on the market.

Senior vice president and general manager of coffee and tea for Coca-Cola North, Penny McIntyre, said, “You could sum it up to say we changed pretty well everything that we could to make sure we had the strongest proposition for consumers.”

The take-home sales totals for tea rose 20.5 percent in the U.S. in 2007, reported Beverage Digest newsletter recently. According to the report, Nestea ranked fourth, following competitors Arizona Tea, Lipton and Snapple. Nestea held 8.5 percent of the market.

The new Nestea marketing campaign will get under way during the next few months, Coke said. To promote the new flavors and packaging, Coke will distribute more than 1 million free samples of Nestea.

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General Mills names chief executive officer as chairman

BY Jenna Duncan

MINNEAPOLIS General Mills said yesterday that it will appoint Kendall J. Powell to cover the job of chairman. Powell is already chief executive officer of the company.

Powell was voted by the board to take over duties as chairman on May 23, when Stephen Sanger, a 34-year veteran of the company, retires.

Sanger served as chairman and chief executive since he was elected to the seat, about 13 years ago. Powell, 54, joined the company in 1979 and was promoted to chief executive in September 2007.

Wall Street today reported that General Mills shares rose 16 cents to $61.83 during afternoon trading.

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