How Swanson Broth is Adapting to the Foodie Age

Swanson's new "Why I Cook" campaignLike most brands, for most of its history Swanson has put convenience at the forefront of its marketing. In its latest campaign, “Why I Cook,” the brand is playing up the cooking process in addition to the end result.

Swanson seeks to appeal to the growing number of consumers who actually like spending time in the kitchen. The consumers of today look to cooking not as a chore but as an activity. They want to enjoy the kitchen experience and are looking for products to aid in the cooking process, not eliminate it. Swanson’s campaign showcases the cooking process that is currently trending. It displays plenty of chopping, mashing, and pouring scenes in an effort to appeal to consumers.

The ads are a departure from the brand’s “The Secret is Swanson” campaign, which typically showcased smiling faces enjoying dishes prepared with Swanson as the secret ingredient. The old campaign, which had been on air since 2006, played up the satisfaction the consumer garnered from feeding his or her family.

However, these days consumers gain satisfaction from the entire process, not just the end result. Hence, the growth in “meal-starter” products hitting the market that allow consumers to add their own meat and veggies. This change in consumers’ mindsets can be attributed to the cooking era, driven by TV food shows and celebrity chefs, which has helped fuel growth in the stock and broth category.

Brands across the CPG category are making similar adjustments in order to appeal to consumers who want to enjoy the cooking process, rather than focusing on the joy of delighting the family with finished dishes. This is a great insight into deeper motivations beyond the expected.

With Contributions by: Tanya Pasha


Brad is an expert in private label and challenger brand food marketing for Barkley, an integrated marketing and advertising agency. He specializes in working with manufacturing-driven food companies that have aspirations to develop a consumer insight-led strategies to help drive innovation and growth.

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