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Campbell to Slash Sodium in Top-Selling Soups

CAMDEN, N.J. -- Campbell Soup Co., the world's largest soup company here, yesterday unveiled a major initiative to cut sodium in its soups and beverages. The company will offer new versions of its top-selling soups and reformulate some of its existing soups and beverages with less sodium.

The reduction efforts will employ an all-natural sea salt to help lower sodium by at least 25 percent, affecting one-third of Campbell's U.S. soup volume. All of the new soup products will be available in retail stores in August, Campbell said.

The sodium reduction initiatives include introducing additional versions of its three top-selling soups, Chicken Noodle, Tomato, and Cream of Mushroom, each with 25 percent less sodium; reformulating 12 Campbell's condensed soup varieties with kid appeal to contain 25 percent less sodium, including Double Noodle and Chicken and Stars soups; introducing four Campbell's Chunky Healthy Request ready-to-serve soup varieties with as much as 45 percent less sodium than regular varieties; reformulating the Campbell's Healthy Request line of reduced-sodium soups, which contain, on average, 45 percent less sodium than regular varieties, by incorporating all-natural lower sodium sea salt. There will also be new additions to the current line of nine soups, including two Campbell's Healthy Request ready-to-serve soups in microwaveable bowls and one condensed Campbell's Healthy Request variety.

"Wellness is a critical component of our corporate strategy, and our portfolio is well positioned to meet consumer demand for convenient, high-quality, nutritious food," said Douglas R. Conant, Campbell's president and c.e.o. "As part of our overall wellness commitment, over the past five years we have significantly stepped up Campbell's longstanding efforts to reduce sodium levels in our soups and beverages. The initiatives we've announced today represent a breakthrough in our sodium reduction work and our commitment to offering consumers more choices without asking them to compromise on great taste."

Added Conant: "We also see potential for additional significant sodium reduction in the future, using all-natural, lower-sodium sea salt and other tools under development. This sodium reduction initiative adds another important element to our comprehensive revitalization work."

The company additionally said it would cut sodium in its V8 vegetable juice early in the 2007 fiscal year from the current 590 milligrams of sodium per eight-ounce serving to 480, the level at which foods can qualify to be labeled "healthy." The majority of V8 multiserve varieties, including the original beverage, will be eligible to be advertised as "healthy" foods. Low Sodium V8 will continue to be offered at 140 milligrams of sodium per eight-ounce serving.

Campbell Soup drew praise from the Center for Science in the Public Interest for its sodium reduction strategy.

"It's rare for companies to acknowledge consumer demand for foods lower in salt, rarer still for companies to act on that," said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson. "Campbell is expanding its customers' choices. I hope that other food manufacturers follow suit."

Campbell Soup Co. is a global manufacturer and marketer of such foods as soup, baked snacks, vegetable-based beverages, and premium chocolate products, including such brands as Campbell's, Pepperidge Farm, V8, and Godiva.
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