Depending on your taste preferences, the impending product marriage between Campbell’s Soup and Keurig Coffee indicates either a Golden Age of instant just-add-water food and beverage options, or proof that the apocalypse is nigh.
Keurig machines are well-known to office workers throughout America: put one of those little plastic cups into the machine, wait for it to add water, and in less than a minute you have a steaming mug of something that tastes exactly like weak, watered-down coffee. So, Campbell’s CEO Denise Morrison figured, why not do the same thing for soup?
Forbes market reporter Abram Brown noted that, “Campbell’s iconic red-and-white cans don’t sell like they used to -- and they’ve been nudged from their place in American pantries. In response, Morrison rolled back a drive into low-sodium soup (it surprised people and raised questions they hadn’t thought about), and Campbell snapped up Bolthouse Farms, which gives the soupmaker access to the fast-growing packaged fresh-food market.”
I’m one of those people surprised by Campbell’s low-sodium soup. Specifically, I was surprised to learn that in soup contexts, “low sodium” is synonymous with “no flavor at all.”
I always keep a few cans of chicken noodle on hand for when I suffer a cold; one feverish day a couple years ago, my then-boyfriend bought my sick self some soup but accidentally picked up the “low-sodium” variety, which was utterly vile. Even adding copious amounts of salt to the boiling soup didn’t help.
I eventually threw the cans of low-sodium soup away; I would’ve given them to the food bank, but figured, “If you are poor enough to need a food bank, your life is already unpleasant and stressful and I'll not make it worse by inflicting flavor-free soup on you.”
Chicken noodle is one of the three soup varieties Campbell’s will add to Keurig machines next year. So if you’re a fan of Campbell’s chicken noodle but have thought, “This would taste a lot better if the noodles and chicken bits were first completely dried out and then reconstituted with coffee-flavored hot water,” then 2014 ought to be a banner year for you.