Fast introduction of new products
Powerful performance in non-soup product lines
Increased revenue from strong performance in international sectors
A leader in many brand categories
Declining performance in the core domestic soup category
Increasing expenditures on marketing / promotions
Heavy dependence on United States market
Technological advances in the canning industry accelerated after the Civil War. The invention of the pressure cooker in 1874 made it possible to control cooking temperatures for the sealed cans. The invention of the so-called sanitary can in 1900 was a cylindrical can that had an open top, enabling canners to deposit larger food pieces without the damage that occurred when filling the old hole-and-cap can. The lid for the new can could be attached mechanically, without the solder seal coming into contact with the food.
Near the end of the twentieth century, when consumers were concerned about lead in food, tin replaced lead in soldering. Other packaging developments included the flexible pouch for low-acid foods and cans made of aluminum and of steel.
Sales of canned soup, which totalled over $5 billion in the mid-2000s, as well as other canned food products, were being boosted more convenient and dynamic packaging. Although easy-to-open lids were already widely available in Europe (approximately 65 percent of all canned goods), their use was increasing in the United States in the mid-2000s. By 2004 approximately 35 percent of all canned food products sold in the United States used easy-to-open, pop-off lids, and that number was expected to climb. Other packaging innovations included microwaveable single-serving soups and nontraditionally shaped cans. Campbells also introduced new gravity-based shelving in stores to make shopping more convenient.
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