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Is Campbell’s Soup Planning to Alter Their Business Model in 2022?

Joel Eisenberg

Following a brief boost in sales during the height of the pandemic, the company suffered financial losses and closed a 100-year-old Columbus manufacturing facility in 2021.

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Campbell’s SoupsShutterstock

Author’s Note

This article is based on corporate postings and accredited media reports. All linked information within this article is fully-attributed to the following outlets: WRBL.com, PhillyMag.com, FoodNavigator-USA.com, Wikipedia.org, CampbellSoupCompany.com, PhillyMag.com, and The Wall Street Journal.

Introduction

According to a January, 2021 report from WRBL.com, “Campbell Soup Company Closing Columbus Manufacturing Facility,” the shuttering of the venerable plant, founded in 1925, was as unexpected as it was unwelcome.

As excerpted from the article: “It’s a scenario that of course we don’t want; it’s not the greatest thing for our community but we want to do our part to make sure that the company, the employees, and the community come out on the better end of it,” Jerald Mitchell, President and CEO of the Greater Columbus Chamber of Commerce, said.

Months following the facility’s closing, a June, 2021 article from FoodNavigator-USA.com, titled “Campbell Soup Co: ‘The Name of the Game For ’22 is Going to be Remain Pretty Agile and Nimble,’” shared information related to the then-current health of the Campbell company that represented a notable decline in 2021 sales quarter-to-quarter, and included estimates as to the current fiscal year.

In September of 2021, Campbell Soup Company formally met expectations. As discussed in a company press release with the headline “Campbell Reports Fourth-Quarter and Full-Year Fiscal 2021 Results; Provides Full-Year Fiscal 2022 Guidance,” recent challenging revenues would be responsible for new strategies.

According to the press release, regarding the fourth quarter of 2020:

  • Net Sales decreased 11%. Organic Net Sales decreased 4% cycling elevated demand and partial retailer inventory recovery in the prior year.
  • Earnings Per Share (EPS) from Continuing Operations were $0.95. Adjusted EPS decreased $0.08, or 13%, to $0.55, of which approximately $0.04 reflected the additional week in fiscal 2020.

As to the press release comments regarding the full year:

  • Net Sales decreased 2% and Organic Net Sales were comparable to prior year.
  • EPS from Continuing Operations were $3.30. Adjusted EPS increased 1% to $2.98.
  • 75% of brand portfolio grew or held share demonstrating strong underlying brand health and momentum.

The release also quoted Mark Clouse, Campbell’s President and CEO, who put a positive slant on these outcomes and stated, “The fourth quarter was a positive finish to a solid year during which we successfully navigated a difficult environment, made significant progress advancing our strategic plan and addressed the executional pressures we experienced in the third quarter.”

Where is Campbell’s today, nine months following the above company release?

Let us explore further.

Campbell’s Soup, 2022

Wikipedia.org features a comprehensive overview of Campbell Soup Company. The dedicated page states, in part: Campbell Soup Company, doing business as Campbell's, is an American processed food and snack company. The company is most closely associated with its flagship canned soup products; however, through mergers and acquisitions, it has grown to become one of the largest processed food companies in the U.S. with a wide variety of products under its flagship Campbell's brand as well as other brands like Pepperidge Farm, Snyder's of Hanover, V8, and Swanson. Under its brands, Campbell's produces soups and other canned meals, baked goods, beverages, and snacks.

The company has been in business since 1869 and was founded by Joseph A. Campbell.

A November, 2021 article published by PhillyMag.com, “How the Pandemic Brought Campbell’s Soup Back From the Brink,” discussed the perilous state of the company prior to the advent of Covid-19: Its stock price had dropped by 29 percent over two years. Much-touted CEO Denise Morrison — one of just 24 female leaders of Fortune 500 companies at the time — had abruptly retired (or been pressured to resign, depending on whom you asked)... The quarterly report that provoked Morrison’s departure showed a $393 million loss and a tripling of Campbell’s debt burden, to $9.6 billion.

According to the report, those fortunes may have changed during the pandemic’s height but per current news the growth has not consistently sustained in all sectors.

See here for for a March of 2022 Wall Street Journal report, “Campbell Soup Sales Fall on Labor, Supply Constraints.”

From the article: Campbell Soup Co. posted lower quarterly sales as labor and supply constraints weighed on operations and profitability. The company behind namesake soups and snacking products like Goldfish crackers and SpaghettiOs on Wednesday posted $2.21 billion in sales for its fiscal second quarter ended Jan. 30, down 3% from a year earlier. Analysts surveyed by FactSet were expecting $2.24 billion.

The messages have been mixed, at best.

Conclusion

The Campbell Soup Company had experienced dangerous lows in terms of revenue in the years prior to the pandemic, the advent of which temporarily improved the company’s financials.

The entity is one to watch and decipher if various strategies undertaken by its leadership will effectuate positive change.

Thank you for reading.

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I am an award-winning author, screenwriter for film and television, and producer. My mission on News Break is to share socially important perspectives on both culture and pop-culture. Member of PEN America, and the WGA.

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