Category Archives: soup

Campbell’s Tomato Soup Prices Keep Escalating

More grocery stores have increased their prices to consumers for an iconic No. 1 size can of Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup. Here's how prices have changed since our previous snapshot of prices at ten of the U.S.'s largest grocery-selling retailers roughly two months ago.

  • Walmart: $1.17/each, unchanged
  • Amazon: $0.99/each, unchanged (Lowest)
  • Kroger: $1.25/each, unchanged
  • Walgreens: $1.50/each, unchanged when you buy 2 cans
  • Target: $1.29/each, increase of $0.10 (+8.4%)
  • CVS: $2.19/each, increase of $0.40 (+22.3%, Highest)
  • Albertsons: $1.59/each, increase of $0.59 (+59.0%)
  • Food Lion: $1.19/each, increase of $0.19 (+19.0%)
  • H-E-B: $1.21/each, unchanged
  • Meijer: $1.19/each, increase of $0.19 (+19.0%)

For the latest in our coverage of Campbell's Tomato Soup prices, follow this link!

Among these sellers, only Amazon continues to sell a can of Campbell's condensed tomato soup for under $1.00. The next lowest price available to consumers is Walmart's $1.17 per can.

Since Amazon sells many fewer cans of tomato soup than all these other grocery-selling retailers, that means most tomato soup-buying American households are now typically paying far more than $1.00 for each can of Campbell's tomato soup they buy. So much so that the trailing twelve month average of a can of Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup has jumped to reach a new record high of $1.04 per can. The following chart presents the entire price history of a No. 1-size can of Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup we've assembled to mark the occasion:

Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup Unit Price per Can, January 1898 - May 2022

We anticipate the trailing twelve month average for Campbell's Tomato Soup will reach nearly $1.20 per can by the end of 2022. How long do you suppose Amazon might continue selling the product at what is now a deeply discounted sale price of $0.99?

Major Grocers Continue Hiking Tomato Soup Prices

Price increases promised by Campbell Soup (NYSE: CPB) CEO Mark Clouse back in December 2021 continued to take hold at grocery stores around the United States since our previous update.

Here is our summary of prices we surveyed at ten major grocery-selling retailers for March 2022. The most important thing to note is that the discounted sale price per 10.75 ounce can ranges from $0.99 to $1.50 per can, as discounted sale pricing below $0.99 per can has nearly all but disappeared in American grocery stores. Our personal finance tip for tomato soup lovers is that if you find it at $0.99 per can, buy it, because you won't see it at that price for long with President Biden's inflation:

  • Walmart: $1.17/each, unchanged
  • Amazon: $0.99/each, unchanged
  • Kroger: $1.25/each, unchanged
  • Walgreens: $1.50/each, unchanged when you buy 2 cans
  • Target: $1.19/each, increase of $0.20 (+20.2%)
  • CVS: $1.79/each, increase of $0.30 (+20.1%)
  • Albertsons: $1.00/each, decrease of $0.25 (-20.0%)
  • Food Lion: $1.00/each, unchanged but discounted from $1.48, an increase of $0.19 (+14.7%)
  • H-E-B: $1.21/each, increase of $0.20 (+19.8%)
  • Meijer: $1.00/each, decrease of $0.29 (-22.5%)

The most notable price increase in this month's update is the 20.2% price increase at Target, the third largest grocery-selling retailer by annual revenue in the U.S. The biggest surprise is the apparent sale of Campbell's Tomato Soup at Albertsons, where shoppers should act quickly to buy soup at the temporary $1.00 per can price level.

But the most interesting price change happened at Food Lion, which didn't change its discounted sale price of $1.00 per can, but did increase its regular shelf price from $1.29 to $1.48 per can. Here's a screenshot of the new higher regular price:

Food Lion: Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup Discounted Sale Prices 9 March 2022

Act quickly, Food Lion shoppers. This stealth price hike is your grocer priming you for what to expect when soup stops being on sale!

As expected, the trailing twelve month average for a can of Campbell's condensed tomato soup rose above the one-dollar per can threshold in March 2022, reaching $1.01 per can and matching its previous record high. American consumers should recognize that all 2021 and 2022's price changes to date for Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup have had nothing to do with Russia's invasion of Ukraine. They've been in the pipeline for an extended period of time now, where you can thank President Biden's inflation for today's escalating prices.

Speaking of which, Campbell Soup's CEO Mark Clouse indicates that inflation is negatively impacting the company's business, though it is still benefiting from the shopping habits consumers developed to cope with the coronavirus pandemic.

Campbell Soup fell short of market expectations for quarterly revenue on Wednesday, in a sign that demand for its sauces and broths is slowing from the pandemic-led surge.

With the COVID-19 pandemic shutting restaurants across the world, packaged food makers benefited from customers stockpiling at home on frozen meals, snacks, sauces and soups.

However, consumers are now returning to restaurants and former food-ordering habits, which has hit demand for Campbell’s products in recent months.

The company’s organic sales were down 2% in the quarter, as it also wrestled with industry-wide supply chain shortfalls and labor shortages.

Our second quarter was challenging as we lapped a difficult comparison and navigated labor and supply constraints, made even tougher by the Omicron surge,” Campbell Chief Executive Mark Clouse said.

The company indicated it will be able to maintain its full year profit target for 2022, benefitting from more stable levels of worker productivity.

Previously on Political Calculations

Political Calculations' analysis of Campbell's Tomato Soup dates back to 2015, when we first posted historic prices for a No. 1 can of Campbell's condensed tomato soup going back to January 1898! Since then, we've filled in the gaps we originally had in the historic price data and have explored America's second-most popular soup from a lot of different angles. We most recently updated our entire history in January 2022:

That article provides links to our previous coverage, if you want to journey through the tomato soup rabbit hole!

Campbell’s Tomato Soup Prices Explode Higher

Price increases promised by Campbell Soup (NYSE: CPB) CEO Mark Clouse back in December 2021 arrived at grocery stores across the United States in February 2022. We're seeing price hikes of 19%-25% for Campbell's condensed tomato soup at major grocery store chains, which rank among the highest nominal price increases recorded in the product's 124 year history.

The most notable shelf price inflation for products like Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup have taken place at Walmart and at Kroger locations across the U.S. The following photos document the new non-discount shelf prices our field correspondent indicates have taken effect this month at their local Walmart supercenter and Kroger-family supermarket:

Walmart (February 2022):

Walmart, Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup Shelf, Snapshot on 11 February 2022

Kroger (February 2022):

Kroger, Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup Shelf, Snapshot on 5 February 2022

Walmart has increased its price from $0.98 to $1.17 per 10.75 ounce can, an increase of 19.3%. Kroger's new price is listed as 4 cans for $5.00, which works out to $1.25 per can, a 25% increase over its previous shelf price indicating 10 cans could be bought for $10.00 (or $1.00 per can).

These price changes are significant to American consumers because Walmart sells the most groceries in the U.S., while the Kroger family of grocery stores is considered to be the largest supermarket chain (Walmart's stores fall into a different retail classification, otherwise it would rank at the top). Together, Walmart and Kroger are the top sellers of groceries in the United States.

Since we survey Campbell's tomato soup prices at many more than just two sellers, here's the summary of prices we surveyed at ten major retailers in February 2022 ranked by seller according to their annual sales, along with the change in price at each since our previous snapshot. The most important thing to note is that the discounted sale price per 10.75 ounce can ranges from $0.99 to $1.49 per can, as discounted sale pricing below $0.99 per can has mostly disappeared in American grocery stores:

  • Walmart: $1.17/each, up $0.19 (+19.3%)
  • Amazon: $0.99/each, up $0.10 (+11.2%)
  • Kroger: $1.25/each, up $0.25 (+25%)
  • Walgreens: $1.50/each, up $0.01 (+0.7%)
  • Target: $0.99/each, unchanged
  • CVS: $1.49/each (discounted from $1.79)
  • Albertsons: $1.25/each, up $0.25 (+25%)
  • Food Lion: $1.00/each (discounted from $1.29)
  • H-E-B: $1.01/each (first listing)
  • Meijer: $1.29/each, unchanged

The trailing twelve month average for a can of Campbell's condensed tomato soup spiked upward to $0.99 per can in February 2022. We anticipate it will blow through the one-dollar-per-can price level in the next month, as President Biden's inflation penetrates through to all American consumers.

Previously on Political Calculations

Political Calculations' analysis of Campbell's Tomato Soup dates back to 2015, when we first posted historic prices for a No. 1 can of Campbell's condensed tomato soup going back to January 1898! Since then, we've filled in the gaps we originally had in the historic price data and have explored America's second-most popular soup from a lot of different angles.

The Price History of Campbell’s Tomato Soup

There are few products as iconic as Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup. Since being invented in 1897 and introduced to American consumers in 1898, Campbell Soup (NYSE: CPB) has produced, marketed, distributed, and successfully sold billions of Number 1 cans filled with condensed tomato soup.

Political Calculations has compiled the price history of Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup going back to January 1898. We've tracked the price of Campbell's iconic tomato soup over the past 124 years because of its remarkable consistency as an identifiable product over time. In fact, if you had a time machine and could travel to nearly any point in time from January 1898 to the present, you could likely find a 10.75 ounce size can of Campbell's condensed tomato soup stocked for sale in American grocery stores.

That long-running consistency makes Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup an ideal product to follow to understand how inflation has affected American consumers through its history. Today, we're updating our chart visualizing that history from January 1898 through January 2022.

Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup Unit Price per Can, January 1898 - January 2022 (Linear Scale)

In January 2022, we find the prevailing sale price is moving toward $1.00 per can as discounted sale pricing by U.S. retailers has become both smaller and less frequent than was the case before March 2021, when President Biden's inflation kicked off, fueled by the stimulus checks and advance child tax credit payments he implemented after coming into power.

That's ten times the original price American grocery shoppers paid when the Campbell company began selling their just-invented condensed soup products in 1898. Because its price history spans a full order of magnitude, showing the price history in logarithmic scale gives a better sense of how much and when inflation has affected the prices American consumers pay for Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup.

Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup Unit Price per Can, January 1898 - January 2022 (Logarithmic Scale)

Speaking of what American consumers are seeing when they go shopping for tomato soup in January 2022, many are seeing empty grocery shelves. The following two photos were snapped at the same Walmart location one week apart earlier in the month. They show the regular shelf spaces for where shoppers would expect to find Campbell's tomato and chicken noodle soups. If they're in stock, which you'll see was not the case on 7 January 2022, but were on 14 January 2022, though supplies on the later date were limited.

7 January 2022

Walmart, Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup Shelf, Snapshot on 7 January 2022

14 January 2022

Walmart, Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup Shelf, Snapshot on 14 January 2022

During soup season, Walmart will often have a special aisle-display for these soups. That was not the case on either of the dates these photos were taken. What these photos indicate is that Walmart, the largest food retailer in the U.S. by volume of sales, is having trouble keeping its shelves stocked with Campbell Soup's top two-selling soups. That's not the case at other grocery stores in the same area, which shared one characteristic: their shelf prices for Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup are higher than Walmart's $0.98 per can price.

Update 23 January 2022: Our field correspondent reports the Walmart location whose shelves are pictured above succeeded in more fully restocking its supply of Campbell's condensed tomato and chicken noodle soups.

We're also not seeing the same kinds of discounted sale pricing we observed a year ago. The absence of discounts confirms the presence of inflation for Campbell's tomato soup that wasn't present a year ago.

Previously on Political Calculations

Political Calculations' analysis of Campbell's Tomato Soup dates back to 2015! Along the way, we've filled in the gaps we had in the historic price data and have explored America's second-most popular soup from a lot of different angles.

Recent Price Trends for Campbell’s Tomato Soup

In December 2021, the typical discounted sale price Americans paid for an iconic can of Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup was $0.98. Meanwhile, the rolling twelve month average for a 10.75 oz can dropped to $0.91 per can as the soup's November 2020 price spike dropped out of the trailing average math. The following chart tracks the recent price trends for Campbell's Tomato Soup from January 2000 through December 2021.

Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup Unit Price per Can, January 2000 - December 2021

We should note the current dip in the trailing twelve month average of Campbell's Tomato Soup prices will dissipate over the next few months. That's because the unusually low discounting prompted by supply imbalances that peaked with the coronavirus pandemic in January 2021 will soon roll off the trailing twelve month average math as well. When it does, that average will quickly rise to at least $0.97 per can in the absence of deep discounting.

Or the average will rise higher, because we anticipate rising prices in 2022. On 8 December 2021, Campbell Soup (NYSE: CPB) CEO Mark Clouse confirmed the company would increase prices in response to their inflating costs.

The firm, which announced some price increases at the end of its last fiscal year, “recently communicated additional inflation-justified pricing actions,” Clouse said.

The latest increases, to take effect in January, are needed to offset higher costs for ingredients, packaging, shipping and labor, said Clouse.

Meanwhile, here's the summary of prices we surveyed at several retailers in December 2021 ranked from highest to lowest, along with the change in price at each since our previous snapshot:

Microsoft Bing Price History of Campbell's Tomato Soup at Amazon.com, Snapshot on 19 December 2021

Of all these retailers, we've found Amazon's pricing to be the most volatile. The second chart provides an indication of just how volatile, based on snapshots at several points of time between 27 November 2021 and 19 December 2021.

While the latest snapshot puts Amazon's price at $0.89 per can, that pricing has ranged from a low of $0.79 per can to a high of $1.49 per can in this chart. Microsoft Edge's price history tracking feature calls the price stable because the current price is within 2% of the median price over this time, which coincidentally happens to be $0.89 per can. Amazon's average price for Campbell's Tomato Soup during this period was $0.96 per can according to this data.

We think Amazon represents a very small share of Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup sales overall, where we give a higher weighting to more traditional retailers operating large numbers of stores in tracking the product's price trend.