Unexpectedly Intriguing!
16 April 2024
A can of Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup. Image generated by Microsoft Copilot Designer.

Inflationary price increases have resumed for Campbell's Tomato Soup.

Our monthly survey of the prices at which ten major grocery retailers are selling an iconic Number 1 size can of Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup indicates upward price movement has resumed after stabilizing during the latter half of 2023.

The changes we're observing are significant for U.S. consumers because Campbell Soup (NYSE: CPB) has produced and sold its condensed tomato soup product in this standard 10.75 fluid ounce can continuously since January 1898. Because of that inherent characteristic, its price is not affected by the marketing trick of shrinkflation, in which producers try to hold their shelf prices steady for consumers in the face of sustained inflation by reducing the quantity of goods contained within their packaging. Its price cannot hide the corrosive effects of inflation within the economy.

Here are the prices we're observing in our mid-April 2024 survey along with how they have changed since our January 2024 report:

  • Walmart: $1.26/each, unchanged
  • Amazon: $1.26/each, decrease of $0.73 (-36.7%)
  • Kroger: $1.39/each, increase of $0.10 (+7.8%)
  • Walgreens: $1.99/each, unchanged
  • Target: $1.39/each, unchanged
  • CVS: $2.49/each, increase of $0.60 (+31.7%)
  • Albertsons: $1.69/each, increase of $0.20 (+13.4%)
  • Food Lion: $1.25/each, unchanged
  • H-E-B: $1.31/each, unchanged
  • Meijer: $1.29/each, unchanged

We think the most significant price change is the shelf price increase at Kroger-affiliated grocers. The Kroger (NYSE: KRO) family of grocery stores is the largest chain for this category of retailers in the United States. By comparison, Walmart (NYSE: WMT) is a larger retailer, but sells far more categories of consumer goods than just groceries. Together, these two companies sell more cans of tomato soup than many of the other grocers combined.

That includes Amazon, which is the only grocery-selling retailer to decrease their price in this report and which sells far fewer cans of soup than either Walmart or Kroger. Amazon is unusual among our surveyed grocery sellers in having very volatile pricing for Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup, showing large swings in price from month to month. Our main takeaway in the online retailer's price for a single picnic-size can of Campbell's second-biggest selling soup product is that its April 2024 unit price is not less than $1.26, which is close to the floor among all our surveyed stores.

The following chart tracks the changing price of a 10.75 ounce can of Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup from January 2000 through April 2024. (See this article for a chart visualizing our full price history from January 1898 through January 2024).

Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup Unit Price per Can, January 1898 - January 2024 (Linear Scale)

The trailing twelve month average price of a single can of Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup is $1.25 in April 2024. This figure is 30% higher than what it was in March 2021 and is consistent with how overall food prices have changed in the U.S. economy in the period since the current era of elevated inflation began.

Image Credit: Microsoft Copilot Designer. Prompt: "A can of Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup".

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