Feature article

Swanson pouch stands up to soup competitors

Swanson-brand Homemade Soup Maker; Loaded Potato
Swanson-brand Homemade Soup Maker; Chicken Noodle
Swanson-brand Homemade Soup Maker; Vegetable Beef Noodle
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Features Editor, Packaging World
New Swanson Homemade Soup Maker represents the only dry soup in Campbell’s U.S. portfolio.

Wondering what to make for dinner tonight? Campbell Soup Company hopes consumers answer the question by purchasing and preparing one of four varieties of its new Swanson-brand Homemade Soup Maker. These dry soups are sold in an attractive stand-up pouch that provides convenience, shelf appeal, and competitive differentiation.

“Our objective with Swanson Soup Makers was to help people solve the busy weeknight ‘What are we going to eat?’ conundrum with a convenient solution and satisfying meal for about the same price as soup from scratch,” says Jerrett Gogola, program manager, packaging development, Campbell. “The easy-to-use stand-up pouch has proven to be a preferred packaging solution.”

Swanson is a brand of broth and stocks within the iconic Campbell Soup Company portfolio. The company merged with Campbell in 1955 and continues to expand its product offerings. Swanson Soup Makers provides a new platform for the brand (Multi-Serve Dry Soup) and launched nationally in June 2017, with product reaching shelves last fall.

Gogola explains that Campbell currently does not market any soup products in pouch packaging, but does use pouches, primarily for shelf-stable meals and sauces including Prego Ready Meals and Campbell’s Skillet and Dinner Sauces.

“Homemade Soup Maker is a completely new offering for Swanson and the only dry soup in the Campbell portfolio in the U.S.,” he says. “We used the stand-up pouch design because it’s most ideal for dry soup. The Swanson Soup Maker packaging stands out on shelves and includes a see-through window that allows us to showcase the quality product ingredients. This is a key point of difference from other large nationally branded competitors.”

A color-coded banner printed on the front side of the pouch clearly identifies the soup variety, and includes a note indicating what additional ingredients consumers need to add to complete the soup meal. For example, the Chicken Tortilla variety says, “You add: Chicken + Diced Tomatoes + Swanson Broth.” The Loaded Potato brand recommends consumers add bacon, potato, heavy cream, and Swanson broth. Some of Homemade Soup Maker dry ingredients are packaged individually within the stand-up pouch.

The pouch’s back panel provides a list of needed ingredients, preparation instructions and nutrition facts. The pouch gusset is printed with what appear to be use-by dates codes and manufacturing details.

“We worked with in-house designers and agency partners to develop the packaging so that it looked fresh and still authentic to the brand,” Gogola explains. “Through our research, we found that there was an industry need for this type of convenient package design, and we are thrilled that we can deliver it to our consumers nationwide.

“We wanted to ensure that consumer convenience was at the core of every aspect of the package design, so features such as an easy-tear structure for streamlined opening and rotogravure printing for detailed food photography were included in the final design.”

Campbell provided no details on packaging material or machinery suppliers other than to say it receives film in roll form, which is packaged on horizontal form/ fill/seal equipment.

Swanson Soup Makers products are available in Chicken Noodle, Loaded Potato, Chicken Tortilla, and Vegetable Beef Noodle varieties, which are sold at many regional retail chains and grocers. Product net weight varies slightly, but each variety produces eight cups of soup once prepared as directed.The suggested retail price is $3.99.

Says Gogola, “The consumer response to Swanson Soup Makers has been overwhelmingly positive—from taste to ease of use, they’ve expressed how impressed they are with the product. We are currently exploring line extensions to ensure that everyone can enjoy this innovation.”

Watch a video of Swanson Homemade Soup Maker.

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