Campbells Kids (Loyd Grosman)

Campbells commercial for their ‘Kids’ line featuring Loyd Grosman.

Campbell’s was founded in 1869 by Joseph A. Campbell and Abraham Anderson, an icebox manufacturer.[citation needed] The company was originally called the “Joseph A. Campbell Preserve Company” and produced canned tomatoes, vegetables, jellies, soups, condiments, and minced meats.

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.[citation needed] 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.[citation needed] However, Dorrance’s condensed soups quickly became successful among the public for their convenience and their price, 10 cents a can.[citation needed] 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.[1]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 various flavors were created to eat at the table or to go.

info taken from Wikipedia

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