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The History of Campbell’s Soup

Campbell’s Soup got its start in 1869, when Joseph Campbell, a wholesale fruit and vegetable vendor, and Abraham Anderson, a commercial canner and packer, formed the firm of Anderson & Campbell in Camden, New Jersey. In 1895, the company’s first jar of ready-to-eat soup (Beefsteak Tomato) was introduced under the leadership of Arthur Dorrance. In 1867, Dr. John T. Dorrance, Arthur’s nephew and an academically-trained chemist, used his expertise to invent the process of condensing soup. This innovation led to Campbell’s introducing their now-iconic line of canned soups. In 1898, the company debuted its first red and white soup can label (an executive was inspired by the uniforms he saw while attending a Cornell football game). In 1900, Campbell’s won a bronze medal for product excellence at the Paris Exposition — a depiction of it was added to the can label, where it still appears to this day. In 1902, Chef DeLisle became the first executive chef at Campbell’s. In 1905, Campbell’s first national ad campaign ran in popular magazines like Good Housekeeping, and in 1911, Campbell’s soup hit another milestone — national distribution. In 1922, the company name was officially changed to the Campbell Soup Company. In 1934, Campbell’s Noodle with Chicken and Cream of Mushroom soups debuted. (Noodle with Chicken quickly became known as Chicken Noodle after a radio announcer misread an ad for the soup while on the air.) In 1951, Campbell’s ran their first TV commercial, and in 1955, Campbell home economist Dorcas Reilly created her iconic Green Bean Casserole recipe. (The company reports that every Thanksgiving, the recipe is viewed around 4 million times on their website!) In 1962, Andy Warhol’s iconic Campbell’s Soup Cans paintings debuted at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles. In 1970, the company launched Campbell's Chunky Soup, their first product aimed at men and the Official Soup Sponsor of the NFL. In 1990, the company manufactured its 20 billionth can of Campbell’s Condensed Tomato Soup; the following year, the company introduced a heart-healthy line of soups called Campbell’s Healthy Request. In 2016, Campbell’s Well Yes! Soups were introduced with 9 offerings to start. Today, Campbell’s Soup remains an iconic and popular staple on pantry shelves all across the nation.

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