Campbell Soup Co. will make all of its North American products without artificial colors or flavors by the end of fiscal 2018, joining a stampede of packaged-food companies moving toward all-natural ingredients.
Campbell, whose products include the tomato soup made into art by Andy Warhol, is removing the ingredients as part of an effort to be more open with consumers, Chief Executive Officer Denise Morrison said during the company’s investor day on Wednesday. The company’s fiscal calendar ends in late July or early August, putting the target near the middle of calendar 2018.
“We’re talking, thinking and acting differently about the food we make,” Morrison said. “We will be more honest about what goes in our food, how we made our food.”
Campbell, based in Camden, New Jersey, is the latest in a series of food companies to make the move. Nestle USA plans to remove all artificial colors and flavors from its chocolate candy by the end of 2015. General Mills Inc. has made a similar pledge for its cereals.
“People from all walks of life want to lead healthier lives,” Morrison said. “This in turn is driving the food choices they make.”
Campbell also is trying to rekindle growth after years of declining demand for its soup, which has been stocked on American shelves 1895. As part of a turnaround plan, the company is cutting $200 million in costs over three years and renewing its focus on emerging markets. On Wednesday, Campbell boosted its cost-cutting goal to $250 million.
Campbell shares gained 1.8 percent to $48.32 at the close in New York. The stock has climbed 9.8 percent this year.