Campbell’s Changes Chicken Noodle Soup Recipe: Cuts Artificial Flavors, Celery & Onions

Back in July, Campbell Soup Company announced it would stop using artificial colors and flavors in all its North American products by 2018. But it turns out the packaged food company already made the changes to its iconic Chicken Noodle Soup, and it left out a few things other than hard-to-pronounce additives. 

The New York Times reports that the new version of the timeless classic, which recently hit shelves in limited-edition Star Wars cans, contains 20 ingredients – that’s 10 fewer than before.

The new recipe uses mostly ingredients you’d find in a typical kitchen: chicken stock, salt, chicken fat, sugar and other things. But it’s not just the additives like disodium inosinate or maltodextrin that were eliminated from the soup recipe: celery, onions, cornstarch and vegetable oil were also shelved, so to speak.

“It’s a delicate balance because these products are beloved,” Charles Vila, vice president for consumer and customer insights at Campbell, tells the Times. “Their profile has become very defined in the consumer mind over the years, so any change we make is very carefully considered.”

In all, Campbell says it took two months of intense work to find the right balance for the newly tooled soup.

The changes to long-enduring soup – and other Campbell products – come as the company tries to better align with consumers’ changing tastes and how it affects the environment.

“We’re closing the gap between the kitchen and our plants,” Denise M. Morrison, chief executive of Campbell, tells the Times. “Before, when we talked about our business, we talked about how many cases we shipped. Today, we’re talking about our food.”

The company is also using the revamp to attract new customers, as soup sales have lagged in recent years.

“There are 80 million millennials now, and they’re shopping and thinking differently about food and in a way that is influential,” Morrison says.

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Campbell Rethinks Its Recipe as Consumer Tastes Change [The New York Times]

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