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      Soup company courting new consumers

      File photo (MGN)

      (From ABC News)

      Campbell Soup Co., the world's biggest soup maker, is looking to court a new generation of consumers with baby carrots, premium juices and refrigerated salad dressings.

      The Camden, N. J.-based company said today it will buy natural foods maker Bolthouse Farms in a $1.55 billion cash deal from private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners LLC. Campbell says Bolthouse's line of juices and carrots will help it feed Americans' growing appetite for fresher foods. Campbell, which is best known for its canned soups, is looking to strengthen its presence in the refrigerated sections of supermarkets. Most of its products, which include Goldfish crackers, Pepperidge Farm baked goods and Prego pasta sauces, are now found in the center aisles, where shelf-stable items are sold.

      CEO Denise Morrison said the Bolthouse deal will help Campbell more aggressively court the generation known as Millennials, who are especially drawn to healthy, on-the-go foods. Campbell's core customers are currently baby boomers and seniors who grew up with the company's products, Morrison said.

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