Campbell, Green Mountain Launching Soup K-Cups

Campbell Soup Co. has struck a deal with Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR) to begin selling soup in K-cups, for heating in GMCR's Kuerig coffee machines.

Campbell expects to introduce the first three flavors in 2014, one of which will be chicken noodle. The K-cups contain soup broth, and come with packets of dried noodles and vegetables to mix into the heated broth.

These will be the first non-beverage K-cups from GMCR, which is seeking expansion to counter competition from generic single-serve coffee cups, since GMCR's K-cup patents expired in fall 2011, noted the Wall Street Journal.

For Campbell, the K-cup soups -- to be sold with beverage K-cups, rather than in the soup aisle -- are an opportunity to offer its female core customers an easy, low-calorie snack, as well as to gain entree into department stores and other non-grocery outlets where K-cups are sold. Innovating to offer convenience and portability is key to CEO Denise Morrison's sales-driving strategy. 

Green Mountain and Campbell said their research shows that 84% of Keurig users are also Campbell's soup customers.

It's not clear whether the agreement between the two would preclude GMCR from selling K-cups of other soup brands.

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