Unexpectedly Intriguing!
26 August 2021

When we talk about Campbell's Tomato Soup, we often refer to it as a product that hasn't much changed since it was first introduced to American consumers in 1897. But like the metaphorical Ship of Theseus, just about every aspect of the iconic product has been changed over the decades the product has existed. The recipe. The tomatoes. The can. The can's lining.

And also its iconic label, which has just been in the news because its basic design is being changed for the first time in 50 years. Campbell Soup (NYSE: CPB) posted the video announcement of the change on Twitter:

The company described the changes to its label in a press release:

Maintaining the famed red and white color blocking loved by generations, the redesigned Campbell’s label features several new elements to contemporize the brand while respecting its heritage — including a modernized logo scripture, which was based on founder Joseph Campbell’s original signature. Campbell’s fans will be able to spot more hidden elements, including the Campbell’s ‘C’ in the fleur de lis and slanted ‘O’ in soup that pays tribute to the letters from the first red and white label in 1898.

“We’ve been on a journey to reimagine this iconic brand and appeal to new generations of consumers who are cooking at home more than ever, while still honoring our rich history,” says Linda Lee, Chief Marketing Officer, Meals & Beverages, Campbell Soup Company.

What Lee doesn't mention is the 2021 changes in the label will help Campbell Soup save money on printing labels, reducing the complexity of the printing process it has been using during the past five decades. It's a seemingly small change that when multiplied by millions of cans produced per year, will produce significant savings, partially offsetting the inflation in other production and transportation costs Campbell Soup is coping with in 2021.

But only partially, since those other rising costs are larger. What the change means is that the price for consumers will rise more slowly than it otherwise would have had Campbell's not adapted the design of its labels.

Speaking of producing millions of cans of soup per year, we'll close with a 2019 video of Campbell Soup's labelling and palletizing line #3 at its Toronto facility in action.

Producing soup has changed too. At the time the video was posted, Campbell Soup was seeking to sell the featured production equipment.

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