New Jersey’s own Campbell Soup is celebrating a big birthday this month. They are celebrating the 125th birthday of condensed soup.

Condensed soup was a big breakthrough in helping homemakers serve up a great meal. One can of condensed soup with water or milk added, depending on the soup, would yield 2 or 3 servings of soup as opposed to a single serving can of soup.

Condensed soup is a cost-efficient, space-saving meal alternative and its long success rate of 125 years on your grocery shelves still remains a staple on dinner tables across the world.

The Campbell's Soup Co. was started by Joseph Campbell who was a fruit merchant from Bridgeton, New Jersey and Abraham Anderson, who was an icebox maker from South Jersey. They opened their first plant in Camden, New Jersey in 1869.

Anderson would leave the company and John Dorrance an MIT graduate working at Campbell’s for $7.50 a week as a chemist, developed a condensed soup, tomato, which changed the food industry. It was his invention in 1897 of condensed soup that led to Campbell’s Soup becoming so successful. Dorrance would later become president of the company after a buyout of the Campbell family.

steamy bowl of chicken noodle soup

Condensed soups are still used in many recipes and continue to be a strong product for revenue for Campbell’s. In 2021 Campbell’s had close to $8.5 billion in revenue.

Cream of mushroom, the classic tomato soup and cream of chicken are big sellers for Campbell’s. I have used condensed soups in a recipe or two and the results are always good.

The next time you reach for a condensed can of soup, thank our New Jersey company Campbell’s for making a tasty addition to your table.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 weekend host Big Joe Henry. Any opinions expressed are Big Joe’s own.

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