Campbell Nutrition Team
The Campbell Soup Company has a diverse team of dietitians and nutrition professionals, but what exactly do they do? The team at Campbell takes on a variety of roles including monitoring trends, researching nutrition claims, setting nutrition standards for new product launches, providing guidance on communications and more. This month, we highlight their work and share what they love about working in the food industry.
Health and lifestyle trends can impact decisions on new product launches, marketing campaigns, and more. It is important that we stay current on which trends have traction, evaluate what the research says, and consider opportunities for our brands. Alexandria Hast, PhD, RDN, Sr. Nutrition Manager Meals & Beverages, shares, “Our entire team loves learning about new food and nutrition trends. With the help of our culinary experts, we can learn about and experience food trends, right here at work!” When trends display staying power, we consider opportunities to create new, innovative products to help consumers experience these trends at home.
Set Nutrition Standards for New Products
When brands have a new idea for a product, the nutrition team partners with marketing, regulatory, and product development to set nutrition standards based on the product’s positioning. They work with the brands to balance these nutrition standards with consumer expectations, cost, taste, and more. Ericha Grace, MS, NDTR, Nutrition Scientist, explains, “It is a real balancing act, but very rewarding. For example, I am so proud of our new Goldfish® Veggie crackers. I worked closely with the team to ensure the new Goldfish® provide a meaningful contribution of veggies and that the nutrition facts panel reflects that. After spending months or even years on a project, and working diligently to get it just right, I feel so proud to see it on shelf. I want to tell people, ‘I helped make this!’ because I know firsthand how much time, passion, and collaboration went into it."
Nutrition Labeling & Claims Research
Our nutrition and regulatory teams set values for the Nutrition Facts Panel for every product and check that all nutrition information and claims are accurate and meet current regulations. To meet the 2020 deadline for transitioning to the new Nutrition Facts Panel, we updated over 1500 product labels within our portfolio!
We also provide guidance on how we talk about the nutrition of our products. Regulations change and research is always evolving, so we must keep up with both. “I love digging into the science behind potential claims to identify opportunities for our brands and make sure we are transparent to consumers about what is in our food,” notes Dr. Hast.
Improving Products in Our Foodservice Segment
Since many eating occasions occur away from home, it’s important to advocate for nutrition in our foodservice segment, too. Anita Shaffer, RDN, Sr. Nutrition Manager, Campbell’s Corporate Nutrition and North America Foodservice, explains, “We create products used by restaurants as well as non-commercial segments such as K-12 schools, colleges, healthcare, military, and USDA food distribution programs. We keep up on a wide range of trends, regulations, and find new opportunities for business growth. This keeps my work very interesting. While there are unique nutrition requirements for each segment, they all share the need for great quality and taste, operational simplicity, and recognizable ingredients.”
Jennifer McQuillan, NDTR, SNS, Sr. Nutrition Analyst, partners with the culinary teams in foodservice on recipe development, specifically for healthcare and USDA Food and Nutrition Programs. “Collaborating with our chefs to provide creative and delicious recipe and menu solutions that meet specific nutrition and program requirements has been the most rewarding part of my job,” notes McQuillan. We create support materials for our sales team to help communicate the benefits of our recipe collections and products, like our interactive online K-12 Product Guide. For easy access, many support materials for our foodservice segments are made available on campbellsfoodservice.com.
Adding More Vegetables to the Marketplace
Health professionals in all areas of practice have similar goals. We want to help people eat more veggies, make better-for-you snack choices and cook more nutritious recipes at home. Grace shares, “My master’s degree is in Community Nutrition, so I often think of myself as a ‘large scale community nutritionist.’ I influence the food supply that will reach so many people. If I can help make a product a little healthier or deliver a positive food group, I know it adds up when you consider the scale of the marketplace.”
Lindsay Watts, MS, RDN, Sr. Nutrition Communications Analyst, adds, “Even small improvements in our food can make a big difference. We put over 10 billion servings of vegetables into the marketplace from shelf-stable products each year. Our foods stock the pantries of millions of homes so every bit we can do to increase veggie servings has a big impact. I am proud to work for a company like Campbell, that works to make food accessible, affordable, nutritious and that tastes great.”
A Diverse and Driven Team
The Campbell Nutrition team has diverse professional backgrounds which can really help with collaboration. Elise Deming, MS, RDN, Nutrition Scientist, and newest member of the team shares, “I am most proud to be part of the Campbell Nutrition team because of the rigor, dedication, and passion we put behind our food. When I worked as a retail dietitian, I didn’t think much about what it took to get products on grocery store shelves, but now I see the love, intention, and care that goes behind every product.”
The Campbell Nutrition team