Campbell’s wants Canadians to rethink canned soup

New online platform will let consumers ask questions about what's in their soup

Campbell Canada is aiming to challenge negative perceptions of canned soup with its reinvented line of Healthy Request soups and a new online platform.

Healthy Request, which has been around for 20 years, now contains no preservatives—a claim that is featured on the label and in a marketing campaign, with the statement, “No preservatives. Ever.”

The line also has two new flavours: Curried Cauliflower Lentil and Spicy Vegetable Turkey with Rutabaga, as well as revamped varieties. For instance, plain old chicken noodle is now Lemon Chicken Orzo with Chickpeas and Zucchini.

“Consumers are looking for real ingredients and their expectations are raising,” said Moya Brown, VP of marketing at Campbell Canada. “We saw that as an opportunity to totally reinvent Healthy Request and challenge ourselves to look at some of the stereotypes around canned soups and break those stereotypes down.”

Brown said the two main stereotypes about canned soup is that it doesn’t taste good and it has preservatives. To challenge those perceptions, Campbell is launching—an online platform that will invite people to ask questions about Campbell’s products, and allow the company to share information openly with consumers. Campbell is also launching a similar site in the U.S.

“It’s part of an overall initiative by Campbell’s both in the U.S. and Canada to be more and more transparent about our food and how we make our food,” said Brown. “We’re using Healthy Request as a real product proof point to show the effort and the commitment we have to being transparent.”

McDonald’s Canada launched a similar platform, “Our Food. Your Questions” back in 2012. But, that company was mired in bad press about its food, with consumers wondering why its burgers don’t rot and images of “pink slime” circulating the web.

What’s the controversy with canned soup?

“It’s pretty polarizing, especially the concept of canned food,” said Brown. “When it’s from Campbell’s, which is a really loved brand, maybe people aren’t as overt in their questions. But, we know that consumers do wonder about the can and how the food is prepared and the types of ingredients that we use. So that’s another part of the story that we’re looking forward to sharing.”

Campbell’s also wants to get the message out that its soups have no artificial flavours or colours, and that 70% of its ingredients are sourced within a three-hour drive of its facility in Toronto.

“That’s another thing that people don’t know,” said Brown. “They [ask]: ‘real carrots arrive here on a truck from a farm?’ And that’s what we use.”

The Healthy Request campaign also includes social media and digital marketing including a series of videos that highlight its simple, high-quality ingredients. PR efforts included outdoor pop-up soup cafés in Toronto and Montreal earlier this month.

Commotion handled PR, Taxi handled creative and digital and Mirum adapted the website.


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