First established in 1933 as a division of the iconic Campbell Soup Company, Continental Foods owns a portfolio of much-loved heritage brands primarily in soups, sauces and bouillons. It operates in five key European markets: Belgium, France, Germany, Sweden and Finland.
Transforming an established brand into a sustainability leader
In 2013, CVC acquired Continental Foods and worked with the business to rejuvenate and grow its product offering through better market activation and focus on its hero brands. As part of its strategy, CVC worked with Continental Foods to improve its sustainable offering, realise operational efficiencies and support its community outreach.
Continental Foods' products, customers and workforce were a leading priority for the company, placed at the heart of its new way of operating:
- Products: As part of its renewed product offering, Continental Foods removed all artificial preservatives and flavours and lowered salt by 10%, ensuring its products exceed industry standards and provided for an increased nutritional content.
- Employees: Improved employee engagement led to 100% of employees indicating they experienced a positive feeling about working for Continental Foods. Over 90% of office employees have also engaged in personal development objective-setting with other employee groups due to undertake a similar personal development process.
- Community: The development of a local community outreach programme, resulted in donations to local food banks and the launch of an apprenticeship programme, which has facilitated nearly 100 apprenticeships at a group level.
- Environment: Increased efficiencies leading to a reduction in electricity consumption by 8%, gas by 30% and water by 19%. There has also been a reduction in single-use waste due to over 90% of packing material being made recyclable.
CVC finalised the sale of Continental Foods to GBfoods in 2019, enabling GBfoods to enter new European markets with local leader brands.