Well before her company decided to buy it, Campbell Soup CEO Denise Morrison had her eye on Bolthouse Farms, with its fresh juices perched in the produce aisle.
Morrison already understood the beverage market through Campbell’s V8 brand, but seeing those drinks in the “packaged fresh” sector was new to her. Bolthouse also grows and packages fresh carrots, something she knew might repel her board.
“Carrots, Denise?” asked one director. “Really?”
In 2012, Campbell paid $1.56 billion for Bolthouse. Today, the brand rings up roughly half that amount in annual sales.
It’s part of the food industry’s shift to what it calls “the perimeter,” the outer ring of the supermarket where fresh foods are sold. That’s where the growth is, and that’s what gives the CEO some cred when she calls Campbell an “organic carrot farmer.”
— Adapted from “The War on Big Food,” Beth Kowitt, Fortune.