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Four years following the end of the United States civil war, two entrepreneurs from Camden, New Jersey, joined forces to start what would become the United States' best known and enduring Co-operate entities, Campbell Soup Company. Towards the end of 1869, icebox manufacturer Abraham Anderson and fruit merchant Joseph Campbell started a small company named Joseph Campbell preserve Company to produce canned vegetables, tomatoes, mincemeat, jellies, condiments and soups. By the beginning of 1894, Anderson and Campbell had both retired, handing over the leadership of the Company in the hands of their new partner Arthur Dorrance.
No sooner had Arthur Dorrance taken over the leadership of the company than his nephew, John Dorrance, joined the company and revolutionized it by discovering a new method for condensing soup. After joining the company, the young Dorrance agreed to buy the laboratory equipment for his discovery out of his own fortune and accepted a weekly salary of $7.50. The new discovery not only eliminated the water in the canned soup but also resulted in the lowering of the costs of the storage, packaging and shipping. This enabled the distinctive white-and-red cans of soup to become a stable among most Americans when it had formerly been a delicacy for the rich. Following the popularity of their canned soup, they were prompted to add the term soup to the company's name in 1922 (Shea, 2007).
In the meantime, Campbell Soup Company's marketing executives started using advertisement as the basic tool to increase the popularity of their product hence increase their customer base. This has made the company to be counted among the most prolific advertisers in modern day United States. The Campbell Company introduced Campbell Kids in a series of trolley car advertisements in 1904. Around the same period, the first print advertisement of about 21 varieties of the soup appeared on a magazine. This saw the company become one of first companies with national distribution by 1911 and around 1915, it established its dominance in the industry by purchasing another soup company named Franco-American. A round 1930s, the company got its way into radio sponsorship with its common "M' m! M'm!" Good!" jingle (Shea, 2007).
Pop Culture icons like Andy Warhol transformed the then simple food product to pop culture in the 1960s and hence expanding the company's products to include chocolates and frozen foods. In 1977, the company streamlined its operations via spinning off Vlasic Food international, which encompassed Swanson and Vlasic pickles frozen dinners. However, around the same period, the company witnessed disappointing earnings and poor domestic soups sales, even after retaining its rank as the best soup maker in the world. In order to reverse this Campbell reached its advertising vault around the month of September 2000, by restarting the "M' m! M'm!" Good!" slogan to increase its profits.
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The company sort to re-establish its dominance as the leading soup company in the world by purchasing leading sauce and soup brands in the whole of Europe from Unilever in a transaction approximated at $900 million. In 2002 the company continued its global expansion strategy by acquiring of an Australian Company leading in salty snacks, the snack Foods Limited at approximately $26 million. In the same year, Campbell Europe established a new office in the city of Cambridge, in the United Kingdom.
In the 2001 fiscal, beverages, sauces and soups accounted for approximately 76% of the company's total revenue. Campbell's North American soup division include Swanson broths, flagship Campbell's condensed soup, select soups and Chucky soups. The company's beverage and food business units include Prego spaghetti sauces, Franco-American canned pastas, V8 juices and gravies. In the year the company's confectionery and biscuits products including Pepperidge farm, Godiva chocolates and Arnott's in Australia accounted for about 24 percent of the 2001 fiscal sales. In 2003, increased sales of Godiva chocolates and Goldfish crackers increased the company's profits by 14 percent (Shea, 2007).
In order to revitalize and improve its growth, the company announced a multi-year strategic plan in the month of July 2001. The new strategic plan involved development of new products and increased marketing of the products already in the market. In 2002 this new strategic plan appeared to be paying off as the sales surpassed the expected sale across the United States.
Apart from its business ventures, Campbell participates in community programs as part of its co-operated responsibility. The most common community program undertaken by this company is known as "labels for Education" which was initiated in 1973. Campaigns across the country enable community groups and school kids to exchange the company's labels for educational materials like computers, art supplies, and software and audio/video equipment. The company is also known to take part in hunger relief programs. For instance, Campbell is the main sponsor of "Stamp out Hunger" food drive, which is an association of the National Letter Carrier Association, commonly held yearly on the second Saturday in May. Another program called "Tackling Hunger" promoted by the company's Chunky brand across the United States is correlated with its Spokesperson affiliations and NFL sponsorship.
However, the current concern by millions of American on the role played by these fast foods in the fattening of American children has forced the company revolutionize the way into produces its products. For instance in 2004 the company announced its new venture of developing tomato soup from organic tomatoes. Hence for Campbell, to continue shinning as the world's leading Soup Company it needs to take into consideration the new concerns about fast foods failure to which it might see its demise very soon.