Campbell’s soups are named after company founder Joseph Campbell.
In 1869, fruit merchant Joseph Campbell, who made his mark selling soup from a horse-drawn wagon, teamed up with icebox manufacturer Abraham Anderson to start the Joseph A. Campbell Preserve Company in Camden, New Jersey, to produce canned tomatoes, vegetables, jellies, soups, condiments, and mincemeat.
In 1897, the Campbell company’s general manager, Arthur Dorrance, reluctantly hired his 24-year-old nephew, Dr. John T. Dorrance, a chemist who had trained in Europe. The younger Dorrance was so determined to join Campbell that he agreed to buy his own laboratory equipment and accept a token salary of just $7.50 per week. The enthusiastic young chemist invented condensed soup. By eliminating the water in canned soup, he lowered the costs for packaging, shipping, and storage, enabling the company to offer a 10-½ ounce can of Campbell’s condensed soup for a dime, versus more than 30 cents for a typical 32-ounce can of soup.
In 1922, the Campbell Company formally adopted "Soup" as its middle name.
The classic red-and-white Campbell’s soup can labels, immortalized by Andy Warhol in his classic pop art painting, were adopted in 1898, after a company executive named Herberton Williams attended the traditional football game between Cornell University and the University of Pennsylvania, and was inspired by the dazzling new red-and-white uniforms of the Cornell University football team. The circular seal on the can pictures a medal won at the Paris Exposition of 1900.
In 1904, Philadelphia illustrator Grace Wiederseim drew the cherubic Campbell’s Soup Kids, modeling the chubby-faced kids after herself. Like the Campbell Soup Kids, Wiederseim had a round face, wide eyes, and a turned up nose. Over the years, the Campbell Soup Kids grew taller and lost a little baby fat. The Campbell’s Soup Kids were introduced in a series of trolley car advertisements, as a way to appeal to working mothers.
The original label on can of Campbell’s canned tomatoes portrayed two men hauling a tomato the size of an ice box.
In the 1900s, Campbell’s first magazine advertisement boasted 21 varieties of soup, each selling for a dime.
In the 1930s, Campbell began sponsoring radio shows, introducing the familiar "M’m! M’m! Good!" jingle.
In the 1950s, the Campbell’s Soup Kids first appeared in television commercials. Forty years later, the Campbell’s Soup Kids were seen dancing to rap songs.
In 1916, a cookbook entitled "Helps for the Hostess" originated the idea to use condensed soup in recipes. After World War II, Campbell’s home economists cooked up recipes for dishes like "Green Bean Bake" and "Glorified Chicken."
Today, Americans use more than 440 million cans of Campbell’s Soup each year to cook with soup.
Combined, Americans consume approximately 2.5 billion bowls of Campbell’s three most popular soups—Tomato Soup, Cream of Mushroom, and Chicken Noodle—each year.
Ronald Reagan, Johnny Carson, Jimmy Stewart, Orson Welles, Helen Hayes, Donna Reed, Robin Leach, George Burns, Gracie Allen, and John Goodman have served as spokespeople for various Campbell products.
Besides “M’m! M’m! Good!,” other Campbell taglines that have infected America’s collective conscious include “Wow! I could’ve had a V8!,” “Uh-oh SpaghettiOs,” and “Pepperidge Farm Remembers.”
Campbell’s Soups, the best-selling soups in the United States, are available in practically every country in the world.
Campbell’s Soups sells hundreds of varieties of soups, including Cream of Broccoli, Double Noodle, and Creamy Chicken Noodle, Healthy Request Soups, Chunky Soups, and Home Cookin’ Soups.