Dear Campbell Stakeholders,
At Campbell, our Purpose — Real food that matters for life’s moments — has fundamentally altered how we think, talk and act about our food, from farm to table: from how our food is grown and the ingredients we select, to how we prepare our foods and the types of brands in our portfolio.
For nearly 150 years, Campbell has made real food and real experiences that connect our consumers to each other and to the world around them. People trust us to provide foods and drinks that are good, honest, authentic and flavorful — made from ingredients that are grown, prepared and cooked or baked with care.
And, now more than ever, consumers expect brands to be socially responsible, serve a purpose in their lives, reflect their values and beliefs, and make a difference in the world. Moreover, they want companies like ours to be authentic and open, particularly about how and where their food is made, why certain ingredients are used and how those ingredients are produced and sourced.
We welcome this era of transparency as a new opportunity to connect with consumers. We know the people who buy our foods hold us to a higher standard, and we welcome that accountability. That’s our character as a company.
In January 2016, we became the first major food company to call for a mandatory national labeling standard for products that may contain genetically modified organisms (GMO) and proposed that the federal government provide a national standard for non-GMO claims made on food packaging.
This decision was guided by our Purpose, rooted in our consumer-first mindset, and driven by our commitment to transparency — to be open and honest about our food. We have always believed that consumers have the right to know what’s in their food. GMO has evolved to be a top consumer food issue, reaching a critical mass of consumers in favor of putting it on the label. The time has come for the federal government to level the playing field and provide food companies with clear direction, definitions and standards for disclosure. I truly believe it is the right thing to do for consumers and for our business.
That’s also what led to the creation of www.whatsinmyfood.com, where we provide detailed information for top products, such as our iconic Campbell’s Condensed Tomato and Chicken Noodle soups. It is a big step toward being even more open and honest with our consumers — about what goes into our food, about how we make our food and about the choices behind the ingredients we use. In 2016, we intend to add information on all of our major products in the U.S. and Canada to the website, with subsequent plans to expand globally. Through this engagement, we will explain the reasons for our choices and use feedback from stakeholders as valuable input to guide future decisions about our food.
It is an extension of work we’ve been doing for years. For example, while many of our North American products already contain no artificial colors or flavors, based in large part on consumer feedback, we are working to eliminate most of the remaining artificial colors and flavors from this portfolio by the end of fiscal 2018.
This is bigger than removing certain ingredients from our products. It represents the start of a real-food design philosophy — one that simultaneously harkens back to our roots with an eye on the future, to ensure the food we make is the food that consumers want, that tastes great and that is made with real ingredients that fit into their real lives.
“In January 2016, we became the first major food company to call for a mandatory national labeling standard for products that may contain genetically modified organisms (GMO).”