Tidbits: Campbell's Soup, Hershey, slow cooker sauce

  • Article by: AL SICHERMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 2, 2013 - 12:36 PM

Natural goes home

Something’s always happening at Campbell’s Soup, even if sometimes what’s happening isn’t all that clear. A year ago Campbell’s Select Harvest soups, which sported “100% natural” flags, became Campbell’s 100% Natural soups. And now some of those Campbell’s 100% Natural soups have become Campbell’s Home Style soups, with the slogan “The taste that takes you home.”

Mr. Tidbit can’t tell if they’re all converting, as Campbell’s website doesn’t even mention Home Style soups. But peeking online at supermarkets around the country, Mr. Tidbit found that at least eight of the 37 “100% Natural” soups on the Campbell’s website are now in stores as “Home Style” soups.

What does “home style” mean? The back-of-the-can blurb explains: “Home Style soups [are made] like you would in your own kitchen. Wholesome ingredients. Just-right seasonings. No preservatives added. Delicious taste, all from a place you trust — Campbell’s. Welcome home.”

Everybody seems to be selling “no strange ingredients” these days, but most are using the words “natural” and “simple” in their names, so Mr. Tidbit is puzzled by Campbell’s move away from the “100% Natural” moniker. But if Mr. Tidbit was such a marketing genius, he wouldn’t have laughed at General Mills’ mainstay cereal Berry Berry Kix, back when it was introduced in 1992, because he thought it sounded like a nutritional-deficiency disease.

Simple complexity

On the other hand, not everybody using the word “simple” seems to mean “no strange ingredients.” Hershey’s bite-size Simple Pleasures candies, the selling point of which is that they contain “30 percent less fat than the average of leading milk chocolates,” contain sorbitol, glyceryl monostearate and PGPR (polyglycerol polyricinoleate). Not that any of those ingredients is a problem, but neither are they “simple,” if that word means “like you would in your own kitchen.”

Sauce for the cooker

Meanwhile, Campbell’s introduces Slow Cooker Sauces in pouches, including Apple Bourbon BBQ with sweet peppers and brown sugar (“just add pork”) and Mexican Red Chili Taco with garlic and bell peppers (“just add beef”). Mr. Tidbit always wanted to write a book of slow-cooker recipes just so he could call it “The Betty Cooker Crockbook.”

Al Sicherman

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