Campbell: Is the soup still simmering?

Alan B. Eisner, Pace University
Dan Baugher, Pace University
Helaine J. Korn, Baruch College


CASE DESCRIPTION: The primary subject matter of this case concerns the importance of doing an external and an internal analysis before selecting a business unit strategy. Secondary issues examined include discussions on how the new CEO makes a difference in changing the strategy. The case has a difficulty level of four, appropriate for senior level. This case would be most appropriate for business strategy courses. The case is designed to be taught in one to one and a half class hours and is expected to require two hours of outside preparation by students. CASE SYNOPSIS: The soup business has been stagnant or slow growing for many years. Consumer preference has moved away from soup to frozen pizzas and microwave meals. Campbell has struggled in the face of this decline by first diversifying its products and then consolidating tangible assets in order to focus on soups. In July 2011 Douglas Conant is stepping down as the CEO of Campbell Soup Co. and Denise Morrison will step into his shoes. Morrison currently runs the company's struggling North American soup. She plans to change the focus of the company from salt reduction to taste adventure in the coming years. Will Morrison's change in strategic direction work for the Campbell?