DMB&B Tapped to Serve Progresso

By Stephanie Thompson

CHICAGO–Pillsbury’s Progresso soup division this month will introduce six new flavors and will restage five of its popular pasta soups with new herb-infused recipes.

The ambitious changes to its product line will be supported by a TV, print and promotional campaign from agency D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles in St. Louis.

The updated pasta soups and new turkey and potato-based soups will ship to retailers June 23. Advertising will begin with newspaper coupon inserts in September and October. TV ads will run in spot markets from October through December; in-store coupon programs will take place in November. Print ads will appear in December issues of women’s service magazines.

Herb-infused pasta soups are the ‘natural next step toward making the successful line of pasta soups we introduced five years ago a bigger idea,’ said Anil Arora, vice president for strategy and marketing services at St. Louis-based Progresso.

The line replaces previous varieties such as lentils and shells with roasted garlic-pasta-lentil-tomato. The current tomato and rotini soup is being supplanted by a new basil recipe.

Progresso research found that 88 percent of consumers consider the new line ‘unique,’ according to the company. The new soups–including turkey noodle, turkey-rice-vegetable, potato-broccoli-cheese and potato-ham-cheese–follow the successful launch of Progesso’s all white meat chicken soups. Those led to a 46 percent growth in its chicken soup sales and hiked total sales in the canned soup category by 9.5 percent in 1995, according to Pillsbury.

Progresso had sales of $254 million for the 52 weeks ending April 27, according to Information Resources.

Copyright ASM Communications, Inc. (1997) ALL RIGHTS RESERVED