Acquisition Strengthens Campbell’s Organic and Premium Soup
CAMDEN, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–July 1, 2008–Campbell Soup Company
(NYSE:CPB) today announced it has acquired the Wolfgang Puck soup
business from Country Gourmet Foods. Separately, Campbell has entered
into a master licensing agreement with Wolfgang Puck Worldwide, Inc.
for the use of the Wolfgang Puck brand on soup, stock and broth
products in North American retail locations, with an option to extend
the brand into other related categories and channels. Wolfgang Puck is
one of the leading organic soup brands in the United States.
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed. Campbell
anticipates that the acquisition will not have a material impact on
its business results in fiscal 2009.
The acquisition of the Wolfgang Puck business and the trademark
licensing agreement support Campbell’s commitment to wellness and
extend the company’s offerings in the growing organic and natural
segment of the market. According to industry estimates, full year 2007
sales for organic wet soup in the U.S. were $150 million, with a
compound annual growth rate of 23 percent from 2003 to 2007.
Campbell currently offers several organic products, including
“Campbell’s” tomato juice, “V8” vegetable juice, “Prego” pasta sauce,
“Pace” salsa, and varieties of “Swanson” broth.
Douglas R. Conant, Campbell’s President and Chief Executive
Officer, said, “We intend to strengthen and grow our business by
pursuing strategic acquisitions and partnerships that complement our
focus on our core categories of simple meals, baked snacks and healthy
beverages. As the world’s leading soup company, Campbell must expand
its role in the organic segment of the market. Combining Wolfgang’s
brand and reputation with Campbell’s distribution and marketing
capabilities creates the opportunity for significant growth.”
Introduced in 1997, Wolfgang Puck offers three main product
lines–its original “red label” ready-to-serve soups, organic and
natural “green label” ready-to-serve soups, and natural and organic
stocks and broths. The Wolfgang Puck portfolio of soup products has
current net sales of approximately $22 million. The products are
currently available in a number of retail locations across the U.S.
“The Wolfgang Puck brand fits nicely with our focus on simple
meals and offers a solid path to extend our wellness offerings. What
makes Wolfgang Puck attractive to Campbell is its association with
gourmet, chef-inspired recipes and its strong and growing presence in
the organic and natural segment of the market,” said Denise Morrison,
President, Campbell’s North America Soup, Sauces and Beverages. “In
addition to its organic and natural credentials, Wolfgang Puck
products are positioned as a high-quality premium brand, with the
potential to be extended into premium soup offerings.”
Campbell plans to operate the Wolfgang Puck business as a distinct
brand within its Campbell USA portfolio and to leverage its existing
distribution capabilities to expand the availability of Wolfgang Puck
products. Under Campbell, the Wolfgang Puck brand will have a
dedicated integrated business team and will be able to draw upon the
resources within the Campbell USA business.
“I’ve always believed in providing the best-tasting, quality
products, using the freshest all-natural and organic ingredients and
I’m proud we were one of the first organic soups in the market
offering restaurant-quality taste,” said Chef Wolfgang Puck. “As a
leader in the soup category and food industry, Campbell Soup Company
is an ideal partner for continuing to grow the Wolfgang Puck brand in
the soup aisle and allowing even more consumers the opportunity to eat
Wolfgang Puck is a world-renowned chef and restaurateur who was
recently honored with the Culinary Institute of America’s Chef of the
Year award recognizing his influence and impact on the culinary and
hospitality industry, his inspiration to generations of chefs, his
leadership in revolutionizing California cuisine and his bringing
cooking into homes across the nation with his cookware and packaged
About Campbell Soup Company
Campbell Soup Company is a global manufacturer and marketer of
high-quality foods and simple meals, including soup, baked snacks, and
healthy beverages. Founded in 1869, the company has a portfolio of
market-leading brands, including “Campbell’s,” “Pepperidge Farm,”
“Arnott’s,” and “V8.” For more information on the company, visit
Campbell’s website at www.campbellsoup.com.
About Wolfgang Puck Worldwide, Inc.
Wolfgang Puck Worldwide, Inc., a privately held corporation,
includes franchises of casual Wolfgang Puck Bistro and fast-casual
Wolfgang Puck Express restaurants, consumer products including
Wolfgang Puck-branded packaged foods and beverages, book publishing
and other licensing and merchandising projects. For additional
information, visit www.wolfgangpuck.com.
This release contains “forward-looking statements” that reflect
the company’s current expectations about its future plans and
performance, including statements concerning the impact of marketing
investments and strategies, share repurchase, cost-saving initiatives,
quality improvements, and portfolio strategies, including
divestitures, on sales, earnings, and margins. These forward-looking
statements rely on a number of assumptions and estimates that could be
inaccurate and which are subject to risks and uncertainties. Actual
results could vary materially from those anticipated or expressed in
any forward-looking statement made by the company. Please refer to the
company’s most recent Form 10-K and subsequent filings for a further
discussion of these risks and uncertainties. The company disclaims any
obligation or intent to update the forward-looking statements in order
to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this release.
CONTACT: Campbell Soup Company
Anthony Sanzio, 856-968-4390
Leonard F. Griehs, 856-342-6428
SOURCE: Campbell Soup Company
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