Unexpectedly Intriguing!
08 March 2023

In 2008, the Food Network's Unwrapped visited Campbell Soup's test kitchens to learn how the company works to produce its then 110-year-old product. Here's a just over three-minute long video clip of the segment:

What Unwrapped couldn't show in the segment is the process by which Campbell Soup condenses its tomato soup, which was a massive innovation that enabled the company to ship its product to a larger market at less cost than its competitors. Removing water from the soup greatly reduced the amount of soup that had to be canned and shipped, where the real trick lay in doing that without harming its flavor.

Now entering its 125th year of production, Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup represents its second best seller, ranking behind the company's Chicken Noodle Soup that was introduced in 1934.

In 2008, the cost of an iconic Number One size can of Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup ranged between $0.50 and $0.80 cents per can, with its average price hovering around $0.70 per can. Fifteen years later, the typical price U.S. consumers pay for the same size can of Campbell's tomato soup is over $1.20 per can, with the last 20+ cents of that increase being added within the past year.

Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup Unit Price per Can, January 2000 - March 2023

2022's inflation appears to be slowing, with no major price increases recorded for Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup during the past three months. In January 2023, the Kroger family of grocery stores sold 10.75 ounce cans of Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup for $1.00 per can, which looks to be the lowest price consumers can now expect to find it at when the soup is put on sale at deeply discounted prices. From 2010 through 2021, a price of $1.00 per can was the ceiling for how much American consumers would pay for the cozy comfort food.

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