Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Marketing Magic of new Campbell's "GO" Soups (BzzAgent test and review)

Campbell's is no longer just your child's cans of Chicken and Stars.
In an attempt to stay current with it's loyal customers, the brand has now launched "GO" Soups available in six spicy sacks:

Golden Lentil with Madras Curry
Coconut Curry with Chicken & Shitake Mushrooms
Chicken & Quinoa with Poblano Chiles
Creamy Red Pepper with Smoked Gouda
Spicy Chorizo & Pulled Chicken with Black Beans
Moroccan Style Chicken with Chickpeas

The Concept:

Instead of breaking out the can opener and cup of water, you just tear the top to the end of the dotted line (located on the back) and pop this baby in the microwave. Then heat, grab a bowl, pour and eat.

Why It Works:

People love the idea of everyday activities being completed as effortlessly as possible. In fact, that's why most modern families have a microwave oven in the first place, the convenience. Let's be honest here. We have all had moments where we have convinced ourselves that even trying to open a can and add an extra ingredient is just too much work. SAD, but true. So the idea of tearing open a bag and two minutes later having a meal ready brings full-time employees, homemakers, teenagers and college students all to the table.

But how does it taste?

Campbell's GO Soup in Moroccan Style Chicken with Chickpeas

The problem with reviewing food, is that everyone interprets taste differently depending on what flavors/spices you are sensitive to.

That being said, there is a significant pattern with the entire line of the soups. In my opinion they burn hotter than the sun...but see? I do not enjoy spicy food at all, so with the two varieties I tried I couldn't get passed the overwhelming sense that I needed to suck on a popsicle for the next hour.

Instead, I passed the meal over to my boyfriend who gave a much more level-headed description:

If you tolerate or enjoy spicy food, the level of these soups are at about a medium. The heat is definitely what gives these the edge over the Campbell's cans as they seemed to provide a quick and convenient meal option to those with more complex or sophisticated tastes. The Moroccan Style Chicken with Chickpeas (pictured above) will remind you of just about any sweet and spicy curry dish you have every tried, while the Chicken & Quinoa with Poblano Chiles leans more toward "Mexicali" cuisine.

While the spicy kick is the main theme no matter which variety you choose, it is also it's biggest downfall. Not only does it not cater to picky eaters like myself, but tends to overwhelm the other included vegetables and meats that makes these soups such a steal for the price. Many of  these soups contain many great vegetables, cheese and chicken to add texture, volume and complexity to the dish, but the concentration of curry and chilies makes it nearly impossible to tell which soup is which.

Delicious...and Nutritious?

Well, nutritious as in you definitely won't be starved. Not only does this pouch take a punch at your taste buds  but it takes a bigger one at your salt intake. Unless you buy specifically labeled products that indicate low or no added sodium, you'll have this problem with any prepackaged soup no matter the brand or variety.

In addition to the salt, these also have a larger calorie count resting along the lines of 200 calories per serving, give or take which one you choose. Now, these soups are meant to be eaten alone as a hunger satisfying meal, so I'd say the calories aren't really a concern unless you wanted this soup to be a light soup.

The Price

Bigger packaging, bigger soup, bigger price. Compared to the cans that typically run for a dollar or two, you'll find the pouches in the same section but with a shiny new price tag somewhere around $3.50.

The Final Verdict

In the end, I expect these to do well as stand alone meals for people looking for a quick meal to bring to work or for those who want a hefty stew on a thrifty budget. The combinations and complexity of ingredients  give these the appeal they need to distract loyal can lovers with the added cost, while convincing non-Campbell's fans that they're still in the game. I'll be patient and see what these soups have in store. Should they do well, they'll add new flavor combination and hopefully cater to those who can't handle the heat.

Have you tasted any of these new soups from Campbell's? Which ones have you tried? Are you a can or a pouch lover? 
Let me know in the comment below and thanks for stopping by!

*I received this product as part of a campaign for BzzAgent for my review. I have never accepted money in exchange for my opinions.

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