Monday, November 23, 2009

Canned Soup

Last fall, Campbell Soup started an ad campaign that said its Select Harvest soups were “Made with TLC” while labeling Progresso soups, from its rival General Mills, “Made with MSG.” Progresso responded with its own campaign, and then both companies complained to the advertising review division, which recommended withdrawal of some ads from both sides.

The damage was already done. Unit sales in the General Mills category that includes Progresso (called, unappetizingly, ready-to-serve wet soups) rose in the fourth quarter of 2008, compared with the same quarter a year earlier, said Information Resources, a research firm in Chicago.

But since then, unit sales of wet soups at both companies have declined every quarter. A UBS analyst, David Palmer, attributed the drop largely to the advertising battle.

Best Soup Ever? Suits Over Ads Demand Proof. New York Times
Like the campaign for governor in Jersey this year - more advertising, fewer voters. Progresso now says no MSG on cans, & introduced "high fiber" minestrone, which just means they put more beans in it & it's less watery. The "TLC" in Harvest soups went into a label redesign. (Guys still prefer Campbell's Chunky varieties, advertised during NFL games.)

Article doesn't mention that these soups are about $3 a can, & canned soup eaters do like to stock up, so just maybe the economy hurt business in 2009 & more consumers are dumping frozen veggies & shaking parmesan cheese into house brand condensed.

My two supermarkets are in working class neighborhoods, 1/4 mile apart on the same street. Both are the kinds of stores where many shoppers have the weekly flyer spread out on the cart's baby holder, & a frequently heard phrase is a budget-conscious wife saying to husband, "Not that one, get the one on sale." Pathmark sells a lot of $3 soup when it's for sale under $2.


That's funny ... I could the same article and was going to write a post about the lawsuits. The article also contained the ongoing battle between AT&T and Verizon over the "map" ad, and I noticed last night that AT&T, since the lost the injunction request, already has a new television ad "pooh poohing" the lack of coverage vis-a-vis the Verizon map ad.

Speaking of canned soups, though, and even the non-canned, the problem I have with them is the ridiculous amount of sodium they contain! Some of them are well over the 1,000 mgs. of sodium, which is a killer for those with heart conditions or high blood pressure, etc. Since I was diagnosed with HBP and have had to take medicine for the past three years, canned soup is out of the question for me. I tend to make my own soups from scratch, and if I do buy an occasional canned or packaged soup, I make sure it is low sodium.
That's my gripe about them. They're too salty even if you aren't concerned with salt. They should have "add salt if desired" on the heating instructions. I don't have a salt shaker, just restaurant packets.
Lately, too, there's been a lot of press about BPA (Bisphenol A) a toxic chemical often linked to plastic cups turning up in canned goods, especially soups and juices.
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