Campbell Soup Company (also known as Campbell's) is a well-known American producer of canned soups and related products. Campbell's products are sold in 120 countries around the world. It is headquartered in Camden, New Jersey.
By 1896, Anderson left the partnership, leaving Campbell to reorganize and form a new company, Joseph Campbell & Co. In 1897, a nephew of one of the new Campbell partners, Dr. John T. Dorrance, began working for the company at a wage of $7.50 a week. Dorrance, a gifted chemist with degrees from MIT and Göttingen University, Germany, developed a commercially viable method for condensing soup by halving the quantity of its heaviest ingredient: water.
Soup was not a popular staple in the American diet at the turn of the 20th century, but it was in Europe. However, Dorrance's condensed soups quickly became successful among the public for their convenience and their price, 10 cents a can. The product competed at the Paris Exposition in 1900 and was awarded a gold medal, an image of which still appears on the label.
In 1898, Herberton Williams, a Campbell's executive, convinced the company to adopt a cherry red and bright white color scheme, because he was taken by the crisp colors of the Cornell University football team's uniforms.To this day, the layout of the can, with its red and white design and the metallic gold medal seal from the 1900 Paris Exhibition, has changed very little.
Campbell Soup became one of largest food companies in the world under the leadership of William Beverly Murphy. He was elected executive vice president of Campbell Soup in 1949 and was president and CEO from 1953 to 1972. While at Campbell's Soup Company, he took the corporation public and increased its brand portfolio to include Pepperidge Farm's breads, cookies, and crackers, Franco-American's gravies and pastas, V8 vegetable juices, Swanson broths, and Godiva's chocolates.
Campbell Soup invested heavily in advertising since its inception, and many of its promotional campaigns have proven value in the Americana collectible advertising market. Perhaps best known are the "Campbell Kids" who though color scheme represented the recognizable soup. Ronald Reagan was a spokesman for V8 when it was first introduced. A "pretty groovy deal" in 1968 offered a paper Souper Dress available for $1.00 and two labels. Also produced were Campbell's Menu Books and Help for the Hostess series of cookbooks. One of the longest lasting recipes, but certainly odd to modern tastebuds, is the recipe for a maroon colored Tomato Soup Cake.
In addition to collectible advertising, the company has also had notable commercial sponsorships. Among these was The Campbell Playhouse, which had previously been Orson Welles' Mercury Theatre On The Air. Campbell's took over as sponsor of the radio theatre program in December of 1938.
In the UK and Ireland, the cans will be rebranded as Batchelors Condensed Soup from March 2008(since the license for the brand name expires in mid 2008) but labels will carry: "Formerly Campbell's. Same great taste." Premier Foods, St. Albans, Hertfordshire bought Campbell Soup Company in the UK and Ireland, for £ 450m ($ 830m), but not the brand. 22 flavours will be branded as Batchelors but recipes will remain the same. Also, US-based Campbell Soup Company will still produce Campbell's Condensed Soup but cannot sell the product in the UK for another 5 years. Over the years there was various flavors created to eat at the table or to go.
To celebrate this, in 2004, the company released a series of four limited edition cans, with different labels than the regular red and white. The new ones were in silkscreen colors, the top half being one shade and bottom another. Orange and pink were one combination, and shades of blue another. This marked one of the few times thus far in the company's 100+ year history that the labels have deviated from their standard look.