Minneapolis—General Mills confirmed that it is removing added MSG from all Progresso soups.
“Twenty-six Progresso soups are already free of added MSG,” says Kyle Duea, marketing manager for Progresso, acknowledging and publicly confirming the strategy for the first time. “That number will continue to increase as we implement this strategy across the Progresso line.”
Progresso would have preferred to announce the change when complete, according to Duea, but opted to announce the move now in response to current competitive advertising in the category.
The move is expected to pressure Campbell’s.
“Now that we have publicly confirmed our strategy on this, we don’t know if Campbell’s will follow us or not,” Duea said. “We do know that Campbell’s has more than 90 SKUs of soup that contain added MSG, more than any other brand in the category. So, yes. We do expect this move to put pressure on Campbell’s.”
In recent advertising for their Select Harvest soup, it is actually Campbell’s that has been talking about MSG, and making unflattering comparisons to Progresso varieties that have not been reformulated.
“Campbell’s campaign has been quite disingenuous, in our view,” said Jerry Lynch, vice president of Marketing for Progresso. “Not only does their advertising make misleading statements about Progresso, but it also fails to acknowledge that more than 90 Campbell’s soups – a large portion of their soups – do contain added MSG.”
Focusing on taste and weight management, Progresso has been gaining share in the ready-to-serve soup category, capturing 3.3 share points over the past 2 years. As Progresso rolls-out its reformulations, consumers now will also see more and more Progresso soups free of added MSG on store shelves.
“Progresso is already the category’s growth leader,” adds Lynch. “More than 3 million consumers have moved to great tasting Progresso soups in just the last two years. We’re going to continue to focus on innovation and new products to help grow this category for our retailers, and consumers can rest assured that we will continue to deliver the same high-quality and great taste that they have come to expect from Progresso.”