Touchdown? Campbell’s Chunky Soups for NFL Fans Reviewed

Campbell's Chunky Philly-Style Cheesesteak Soup

Campbell’s Soup Company is enjoying a good run this year in the public markets. The stock is up 30% in 2013 and performing at its best since the late 1990′s. The company certainly has innovated in the last 12 months – see for example its line of Go Soups for the new generation.

In a recent earning report, CEO Denise Morrison announced a partnership with the NFL. A large male target demographic enjoys soup while watching the game, and so the company has beefed up its lineup of soups, including today’s pick for a closer look, Fooducate style: Campbell’s Chunky Philly-Style Cheesesteak Soup.

The 18.8 ounce can boasts Campbell’s Chunky tagline “the soup that eats like a meal”, and indeed the image depicted on the package seems appetizing: a spoon heaped with beef, potatoes, and melted cheese. Let’s see how well this product stacks up nutritionally.

What you need to know:

A can contains 2 servings of 9 ounces. A serving is about one cup and has 150 calories. If you think about the target demographic – hungry men watching a 3-hour football game, you are almost guaranteed they will consume the entire can.

While we can live with the 300 calories (after all this is a meal-in-a-can), what worries us more is the high level of sodium in the soup. At 770mg per serving, or 1540 for the entire can, we are talking 100% of the daily recommended limit for a large swath of the population – people over 50 years old, African Americans, and folks with high blood pressure.

Here is the ingredient list:

Water, Potatoes, Season Cooked Beef (Contains Up to 10% Solution of Beef Broth, Salt, Sodium Phosphate, Spices), Roasted Onions, Green Peppers, Vegetable Oil, Modified Food Starch, Contains Less Than 2% of: Wheat Flour, Cheddar Cheese (Milk, Cultures, Salt, Enzymes), Salt, Beef Fat, Flavoring (Flavoring, Enzyme Modified Butterfat [Butterfat {Milk}], Water, Natural Tocopherol, Enzymes), Monosodium Glutamate, Granular Cheese (Milk, Cultures, Salt, Enzymes), Soy Protein Concentrate, Dehydrated Onions, Enzyme Modified Cheese (Made from Cheddar, Swiss And Blue Cheese [Milk, Cultures, Salt, Enzymes], Water, Sodium Caseinate, Sodium Phosphates, Enzymes, Salt, Xanthan Gum), Semisoft Cheese (Milk, Cultures, Salt, Enzymes), Blue Cheese (Milk, Salt, Cultures, Enzymes), Flavoring, Sodium Phosphate, Vinegar, Spice, Soy Lecithin.

We’ve taken the liberty to mark in bold the ingredients you likely won’t find at home. These are additives that are responsible for making the soup taste good, be shelf stable for a decade or two, and keep the liquids and solids mixed together. Just negating the metallic taste of the can is a feat of magic, if you must know.

Now aside from the long shelf life, why don’t we use these ingredients in home made soup? Because the core ingredients that we procure for home cooking are of higher quality. Homemade soup doesn’t need MSG to make it taste better. And it usually requires much less salt than canned soup does.

What to do at the supermarket:

We highly recommend learning to make your own soup from basic products. It’s easy, fast, and lasts a whole week. However, if that is not an option this week, look for soups where the ingredient list seems like something you could have made on your own. With respect to nutrients, make sure the sodium is not too high (less than 600mg per portion).

  • Thomas Lynch

    i can’t even imagine the quality of the meat (and i am using this term very loosely) products and diary? or the antibiotics and drug residuals in the diary and meat or the blood and pus in the diary. Why not just include the atorvastatin calcium (Lipitor) right in there now and save us the trip to our GI, cardiologist, rheumatoligist and ER?

    • yulaffin

      Don’t give them any ideas!

      • Best Lasik Surgeon


    • Pat Trick

      or dont buy it and stfu

      • Thomas Lynch

        Hey Pat Trick you seem to be a proud example/product of the Philadelphia public school system and possibly too much GMO, MSG, and the SAD (std American diet) Your other 5 posts under this alias you hide under posts seem equally useful (useless) ;-)

  • The Lone Marmot

    And how much BPA per can, I wonder?

    It’ll certainly help the enlarging breasts of the American male football fan…

  • Bill

    Good grief. What’s next? Campbell’s Beer and Nachos Soup?
    Our societial capacity for crappy food is just astounding sometimes.

    • Elle Squared

      We’re getting closer to the meal in a gum from Willy Wonka. Pretty soon, we’ll all have blueberries for daughters.

    • Pat Trick

      lol dont buy it ya p#ssy

  • DilbertDoe

    I put MSG in my homemade soup, I put it in just about everything, it makes everything taste better. Don’t buy the overpriced stuff they sell in the store, you can buy it by the pound on Amazon at a real cheap price.

    • nonamejustme

      you are kidding us right? about your use of MSG?

    • Cynder

      Unless You Got An Excessive Amount.

  • wrestlingwithpigs

    I just ate this soup for lunch, and my only description would be “S.O.S Soup”.
    For most of you who are too young to know the classic boot camp fare of SOS or chipped beef on toast, this is it. Except instead of toast the carbohydrate consists of potatoes.

    Philadelphia has grounds to sue Campbell for defamation of character.

  • Bud

    My favorite part of the ingredients is “Flavoring.” And in parentheses, when they break down this mystery “Flavoring”, the first ingredient is “Flavoring.” But what kind of flavoring do they put in the flavoring in the flavoring?