Ever wondered how it is to work in a Food Industry? Coming from a Technology Background, I always did. I always wondered what is going on inside those companies which make such delicious food and beverages. So, here it is – My first visit to a Soup Company!
We started early in the morning around 5am from College Park to visit the Campbell’s Soup Company,NJ on Friday, Dec 2nd, 2011. We reached well ahead of time as planned and were waiting at the front desk for our Smith Alum, Rachel who is Associate Brand Manager at Campbells’ Soup and was generous enough to arrange a ” Day on Job Trek” for us. There were students from Wharton School of Business as well signed up for the same event.
The day started with a sweet aroma of the breakfast followed by a presentation about Lab Design Overview. It was fascinating to know how much hard work and creative thinking goes behind those colorful and attractive labels we see on each of those products. How important it is to consider the size, color, text, photograph or even considering modifying the brand logo. Everyone was excited about premium line of soup product and the Campbell’s gift card which we were handed. After the breakfast and the soup packaging endeavor, we were taken to the product inspection section. We were taught how to taste the soup – I never knew there is a way to taste the soup 🙂 But it only made more sense when we were explained the nitty-gritty of the process. We had five kinds of soup in front of us and were given a spoon and a bowl to taste the soups along with crackers and water to make sure our palettes are well cleaned before trying the next one. Usually in a real scenario, one session of product testing has only one soup or only one of the products. The tasting is mostly followed by providing feedback in a form and the process is repetitive which helps in further product development or changes.
I must say the whole day was filled with delicacies ranging from soups to snacks. Our lunch with Chef Mario helped us gain better insights about the various salts used across the world. The day ended with the marketing summary about the Gourmet Product which we started our discussion with. My blog would remain incomplete without mentioning the Customer Taste Kitchen which brought back memories of childhood recipes of soup for many in the group.
We all enjoyed the experience to the fullest which was more rewarding due to the Associate Brand Managers Panel who were friendly enough to share their experiences with the students. All in all – a great day of knowledge and NETWORKING (as we say in the MBA world )!!