Campbell Soup Co. unveiled a plan to invest $50 million to upgrade and expand its Camden headquarters amid a consolidation of its snack businesses from Connecticut and North Carolina.
In a Jan. 18 press release, the soup and snack giant said the changes, which are expected to occur over the next three years, will add about 330 positions to its Camden offices, bringing the total local workforce to about 1,600.
According to Campbell, the company has been evaluating plans to unify its snacks division following its $6.1 billion acquisition of Synders-Lance Inc. in 2018. Currently, operations are spread across multiple office locations, mainly split between Camden, Charlotte and Norwalk, the company said.
The snacks division will soon have a separate section on Campbell’s Camden campus, according to the company, but will be part of its two-division operating model of meals/beverages and snacks.
In addition to Synder’s pretzels and Lance cracker sandwiches, Campbell’s snacks division includes Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps, Kettle and Cape Cod potato chips, Late July snacks and Pepperidge Farm products. Its meals/beverages division brand portfolio includes its namesake soup, as well as Prego pasta sauces, V-8 juices, Swanson broth, Pacific organic soups and Pace salad.
As part of the plan, Campbell will upgrade existing space as well as construct new buildings, including a new campus center, research & development facility, pilot plant, day care center, café and complimentary fitness center.
Workers in Charlotte and Norwalk will begin relocating to Camden in phases starting in mid-2023. For employees who choose not to relocate, Campbell said it will offer job placement support and severance benefits commensurate with level and years of service.
The building closings will not impact Campbell’s other operations in Connecticut and North Carolina, according to the company.
In North Carolina, Charlotte will remain a key manufacturing and distribution center, with approximately 1,400 employees in the Pineville area. Combined with the company’s Maxton manufacturing site, Campbell employs approximately 2,500 people in the state.
In Connecticut, Campbell will continue to operate its Pepperidge Farm bakery in Bloomfield. Opened in 2002, that location employs nearly 400 people, is actively hiring and has plans to expand in 2023.
A commitment to Camden
Campbell President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Clouse said, “We have a long history in Connecticut and North Carolina and will continue to have key operations in both states.
“The decision to close these offices was difficult but it is the right thing to do for our business and culture. Unifying the company in one headquarters increases connectivity, collaboration and provides enhanced career opportunities for our team,” Clouse said.
The changes – which Camden expects will save $10 million a year by fiscal year 2026 – are the latest step in the company’s growth plans and ongoing commitment to Camden.
“We are thrilled to invest in our people, our facilities and our Camden community, which Campbell has called home for more than 150 years,” Clouse said.
“We remain committed to our two-division operating model and are confident that being together in one headquarters is the best way for us to continue building a culture that unlocks our full growth potential. This investment will ensure Campbell remains a great place to work and a compelling destination for top talent,” he stated.
“In good times and bad, Campbell’s has remained a constant in Camden for over 153 years. It is such an extraordinary public-private partnership,” said Camden Mayor Victor Carstarphen, who described the company as “an American icon and an anchor in our community.”
Campbell’s last major expansion, which occurred in 2010 and cost about $132 million “was a catalyst for enhancements to the surrounding roadways, resulted in new infrastructure, and ultimately the development of a commercial office park,” the mayor said.
As part of that project, Campbell also purchased vacant buildings and parcels surrounding its headquarters, which spurred the redevelopment of Camden’s Gateway District and the location of other major businesses to the city, including Subaru of America.
Gov. Phil Murphy also praised the company’s announcement, saying the plan “will create jobs, stimulate economic development and strengthen Campbell’s roots in Camden where their efforts have played an essential role in the continued transformation of the city.”
“Campbell is an iconic New Jersey company, and I’m pleased with their commitment to invest and grow in our state,” said Murphy.