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Next time you open a can of Campbell’s—and, each year, over 2 billion of us do—say “Bon appétit” (yes, instead of “Mmm mmm good,” which is trademarked). After all, it was a Frenchman—the Paris-born Louis Charles DeLisle—who perfected the secret recipe for condensed tomato soup in 1902. Since then, Campbell’s tomato has become an indispensable fixture in American kitchens. More than a century since its introduction, and despite a gradual decline in soup consumption, Campbell’s is still among the top 10 grocery items that Americans buy.
Why? As it turns out, this convenience food of yesteryear still fits pretty well into contemporary life.