I wanted to share with you a little bit about my quick trip out to Philadelphia. It was for the very first (and hopefully not the last) Campbell’s Blogger Event. It was such an honor to be invited and help pave the way into the world of social media and blogging with their company.
I was in truly the best company, surrounded among some of the best women in the blogging business.
MomCentral.com, Stacy Debroff
Table4Five.net, Elizabeth Edwards
ThisMamaCooks.com, Anne-Marie Nichols
Busymom.net, Elizabeth Thielke
Thisfullhouse.com, Liz Thompson
Fromdatestodiapers.com, Christine Young
BecauseIsaidso.com, Dawn Meehan
Momtothescreamingmasses.com, Carmen Staicer
Momof3girls.net, Deb Steenhagen
Chicagonista.com, MJ Tam
I felt so lucky to have been invited and looked forward to my time in Philadelphia with the Campbell Soup Company. One of the best PR agencies in the world, in my humble opinion, Weber Shandwick, arranged our event and did an excellent job of fielding our calls as poor weather and flight cancellations from many of us made it difficult to get to our destination. We all arrived safe and sound though and settled into our wonderful accommodations for the night, to begin our day with Campbell’s in the morning.
When we arrived we hung out in the lobby and got a kick out of what was sitting behind the receptionist. Hot water, juice, and tomato soup. Everything you might need while waiting in the reception area at the Campbell Soup Company!
We filed in for a breakfast with some of the wonderful people behind the company. One of the highlights for me was listening to Pat Montgomery, in charge of the Global Nutrition, share not only about their products, but also opening it up to us for discussion about our concerns about their products and how they could help us make the dinner hour easier. Many of the moms in our group shared their difficulties with all gathering around the dinner table, others had children suffering from severe food allergies, and other moms were looking for the best bang for their buck. I bet you can guess which category I fell under? Nothing was off limits and the time that they spent with us… invaluable and never rushed.
These were some of the images that they had gathered from moms when explaining how they felt about making dinners. The time bomb, no answers for dinners, complete chaos, and the feelings of being cornered were all voiced by the moms they surveyed. We all laughed, but agreed that dinner can often be a challenge for our families.
After our discussion, we got the opportunity to see how time intensive it can be to make chicken noodle soup from scratch and why they developed their product. Chef Tom Helsel, who trained at the Culinary Institute of America and the American Culinary Institute, has been with Campbell’s for 10 years and shared his expertise on making the soup. One of my favorite tips that he shared was to parcook the noodles before making soup. It will help so that the noodles do not absorb the liquid from your soup, leaving the broth in the soup instead of in the noodles. He says that you can take it a step further, and parcook the noodles in chicken stock to help develop your soup flavor even more. The recommendation was for five minutes of parcooking and then rinsing them with cold water.
Next, we were guided through a taste test of their soups. They put out two soups- one that was low sodium
and one that was not. We were challenged to take their taste test and see if we could figure out which variety was which. I love salt and I add a ridiculous amount of salt to everything that I eat. I didn’t want to tell anyone that I had an unfair advantage, but couldn’t wait to show off how knowledgeable I was. I was floored when I was completely wrong on both. While the company would not reveal their secrets, they were very proud to have matched the taste so successfully.
After the soup taste testing and a fabulous lunch and more great discussion on how Campbell’s could provide great meal solutions for moms, we were taken on another fun tasting and got to try out the V8 V-Fusion Juice. They were all really yummy, but I navigated towards the more traditional Strawberry Banana & Peach Mango flavors. What can I say except that I am a total traditionalist!
We then got a chance to try making smoothies out of a variety of fruit, V8 juices, and nonfat yogurts. They were so delicious and I really enjoyed trying all of the juices. You can try them too and use a coupon at TryV8.com for a $1 off of the purchase price.
We slipped back to our rooms to get ready for a fun dinner out where I had some of the best gnocchi I have ever tasted in my life and discovered that they make varieties of white Bordeaux wines, which I had not known. The dinner was delicious and I got to spend time with some of my favorite people in the world to boot.
Christine at From Dates to Diapers!
Dawn from Because I Said So!
Liz from This Full House!
Yes, it was another wonderful trip that I am so thankful I got the chance to be a part of. These trips feel like winning the lottery to me and I am always appreciative to get a turn to share my feedback with companies, particularly on food products. Thank you to the Campbell’s team for greeting us with open arms and making us feel right at home in your kitchen. Another big thank you to Weber Shandwick for making all of these arrangements and bringing bloggers and companies together in a very authentic way.