The future of snacking
With the lines between snacking and meal occasions blurring, Morrison said Campbell Soup sees numerous opportunities.
“Today, more than two-thirds of all snacks are of the mindless munching variety,” she said. “In other words, (they are) purchased to satisfy cravings. The snacks of tomorrow will be more deliberate with a specific purpose, they will be more accessible, affordable and high quality and they will be customizable and offer functional benefits.”
To capitalize on the trend Campbell Soup initially is focusing its efforts through its Global Biscuits and Snacks division through such brands as Goldfish, Kjeldsens and Tim Tams, Morrison said.
“Longer term, we’re focused on dialing up the functional benefits of our existing snacks while also selecting real food ingredients that can address specific needs such as in endurance, mood and energy management,” she said. “Ultimately, our goal is to create entirely new snacking platforms that are true to our purpose.”
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Personalized health and wellness
Morrison noted that the emergence of nutrition systems that leverage biometric data to provide personalized advice are growing.
“As you’ve heard me discuss before, the food industry is being transformed by the fusion of food, well-being and technology, and it will have a profound impact on consumers’ food choices,” she said. “We’ve all read about the age of personalized medicine. Now, the age of personalized nutrition is upon us.
“This evolution of eating is being led by many developments, including, understanding our bodies at a cellular level, the creation of affordable and accessible biometric testing and monitoring tools and expanded options for curated food preparation and delivery. The next frontier in nutrition will be about re-configuring diets according to an individual’s specific physiology, lifestyle and health goals.”
As an example of where the personalized nutrition trend may be headed, Morrison referenced her personal experience with Habit, a start-up venture the company invested in this past year. The Habit “system” includes an at-home test kit that is sent to a certified lab and, after the tests have been conducted and analyzed, the data is used to create a personalized diet. As part of the program a nutrition coach helps consumers define their goals and users may order meals designed specifically for their needs.
“Do you think that sounds too far off?” she asked. “Well, there was a time when no one heard of personal trainers or personal shoppers. But they are routine parts of many people’s lives today.”
She added that she has gone through the program and in addition to her numbers improving, she also lost 18 lbs.
“The Habit team is five weeks into their launch and there is already a waiting list,” Morrison said. “The service is currently being tested in the Greater San Francisco area. We’ll be using this regional launch to test, learn and optimize the service for scale with an eye on urban centers. It’s very early days and multiple business models can emerge.”
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Capitalizing on local
Consumer interest in smaller, more regional food production models is the driver behind Campbell Soup’s focus on local as a trend. Morrison said increased urbanization is prompting consumers to seek a stronger connection with nature and globalization has prompted more people to take an interest in where their food comes from.
“Signals of this movement are ubiquitous,” she said. “For example, between 2008 and 2014, the number of farmers’ markets in the United States more than doubled and 15 percent to 20 percent of the world’s food is now produced by urban farms.”
Through such brands as 1915 by Bolthouse Farms, Well Yes! and Prego’s Farmers’ Market the company is starting to capitalize on the trend.
“Limitless Local is an area rich in opportunity for Campbell and we have only begun to scratch the surface,” Morrison said. “Think about our history of working with American family farmers for more than a century, and our heritage of making simple, affordable and accessible delicious foods that are priced within the reach of most pocketbooks. These facts uniquely position us to leverage this growth platform in a more meaningful way.”