One and a Half Centuries of Defining American Food Traditions

Workers label and pack cans for distribution, c. 1905

(StatePoint) Think back on some of your favorite family meals over the years and it’s likely that Campbell Soup Company played a role during those important moments around the table. An American icon, Campbell is celebrating its 150th anniversary.  

From tomato soup and grilled cheese on a cold day to green bean casserole, generations of home cooks have made Campbell food, snacks and recipes part of their daily and holiday food traditions.

Here are some of the most interesting facts about Campbell’s place in American culture:  

• Campbell Soup Company was founded four years after the Civil War ended in 1869 by a fruit merchant and an icebox manufacturer. By the turn of the century, the company flourished as a result of several innovations -- including Dr. John T. Dorrance’s invention of condensed soup, which made nutritious soup more affordable to millions of Americans at just 10 cents per can.

• Campbell food was served during WWI and WWII, and during the Apollo missions, offering troops and astronauts comfort and a taste of home.

• Campbell’s influence can be seen in American pop culture throughout the years, from Andy Warhol’s iconic paintings of Campbell’s Soup cans to the enduring “M’m! M’m! Good!” jingle to other cultural icons like the Campbell Kids and President Ronald Reagan’s V8 ad.

• The Green Bean Casserole, invented by Campbell employee Dorcas Reilly in 1955, was served at 20 million dinners this past Thanksgiving. During the holiday season, Green Bean Casserole recipes were viewed more than 6 million times on the Campbell’s Kitchen website.

• Campbell’s tomato growers harvest over 1.5 billion pounds of tomatoes per year. Eighty percent of Campbell’s tomato growers and their families have worked with the company for more than two decades.

• Over the years, the company has grown to include numerous other brands that are staples in American households, among them Pepperidge Farm cookies, Goldfish crackers, Snyder’s of Hanover pretzels, Lance sandwich crackers, V8 beverages and Swanson broths. Today, 95 percent of U.S. homes have Campbell products in its cupboards and fridges.

For more information, as well as recipes, visit CampbellSoupCompany.com.

Campbell’s history and American history go hand-in-hand. A part of American kitchens and culture for generations, its foods reflect the trends and tastes of the country. 

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