Stay-at-home orders, restaurant closures, remote work and money spent on home renovations during the pandemic have been a boon for the packaged-food industry, which has seen sales soar. This sudden increase in demand, however, has interrupted another trend that’s been forcing major consumer packaged goods companies to reshuffle their portfolios in recent years—namely, the shift toward fresh food and better-for-you options.
With the quarantine-fueled run on grocery stores winding down, Campbell’s has begun touting its healthier brands. Earlier this month, for example, the company rolled out a new ad campaign featuring actor, comedian and writer Mindy Kaling for its Well Yes! line of ready-to-serve soup. Making its debut in late 2016, Well Yes! contains simple ingredients and no artificial additives.
This week, the company is putting a spotlight on its Pacific Foods line of organic soups, broths and plant-based beverages with the brand’s first national campaign, titled Specifically Pacific. A 60-second, adverb-heavy spot created by lead creative agency 72andSunny presents Pacific Foods as a nature-friendly, farm-to-table organization, with images of a chicken, tomatoes on the vine and plenty of green fields.
“What we’re trying to do is tell the whole story,” said Tim Goldsmid, vp of marketing at Pacific Foods. “For our consumers, it’s about holistic health.”
The brand is focusing on everything from what people feed their families, to sourcing local ingredients, to the broader impact of food on the environment. Telling shoppers that Pacific Foods makes a soup that’s low in sodium, in other words, is not enough.
Founded in 1987, Pacific Foods generated around $218 million in net sales for the 52-week period ending May 31, 2017. Looking to enhance its roster of healthy brands, Campbell’s acquired Pacific Foods later that year for $700 million.
“The acquisition allows us to expand into faster-growing spaces such as organic and functional food,” Campbell’s former CEO, Denise Morrison, said in a statement at the time. “It advances our strategic imperatives around real food, transparency, sustainability and health and well-being.”
Other examples of packaged-food companies updating their offerings for more health-conscious consumers include Kellogg’s new Incogmeato line of plant-based meat products and Conagra’s roster of innovative items designed for specific diets, such as vegan and gluten-free. Within the past year, multiple Campbell’s snack brands have introduced more nutritious options, such as Goldfish crackers made with real vegetables and Late July grain-free tortilla chips.
Pacific Foods’ first major marketing push under Campbell’s was in development prior to the Covid-19 outbreak and is set to run on print, social and various digital platforms, including Hulu and YouTube. The brand also has a partnership with Pinterest that will allow users to click on recipes and buy products directly from the site.
Similar to its CPG competitors, such as Kraft Heinz and General Mills, Campbell’s has seen revenue climb since March. The company’s meals and beverages segment, which includes Pacific Foods along with Prego pasta sauce and V8 juice, saw organic sales increase 19% for the quarter ending Aug. 2.
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