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Campbell K-cups to make Keurig into soup machine

NEW YORK — If you ever wanted soup to come out of your coffee machine, you're in luck.

Campbell Soup Co. says it will start offering K-cup soup packs that can be made with Green Mountain's popular single-serve coffee machines. The soups include a K-cup pack of broth that is brewed over a packet of dry pasta and vegetables.

"It's delicious soup at the touch of a button," Campbell CEO Denise Morrison said in a phone interview.

Green Mountain says its machines are designed so that the system is cleansed by the brewing process, meaning there wouldn't be a danger of the soup and coffee flavors mixing. In addition to coffee and tea, Green Mountain also offers K-cups for fruit drinks and hot cocoa.

Nutrition information for the K-cup soups wasn't available because the companies are still working through the product details, a Campbell representative said. But the companies are calling the soup packs a "snack."

Campbell and Green Mountain say they'll launch three varieties next year, including Chicken Broth & Noodle.

Campbell, based in Camden, N.J., has been trying to reinvigorate sales of its flagship soup business with new flavors and packaging designed to appeal more to people in their 20s and 30s. Its "Go" soups, for example, come in flavors such as Moroccan Style Chicken and in pouches that can be microwaved.

Morrison said the K-cup soups also represent another push into higher-growth areas.

The company, which also makes Pepperidge Farm cookies and Prego spaghetti sauces, has been trying to diversify its portfolio of packaged foods as people increasingly opt for foods they feel are fresher or healthier. It recently bought Bolthouse Farms juices, as well as Plum Organics baby food.

Morrison said she's a loyal Keurig user and that she ran the idea by Green Mountain executives at an event less than a year ago. She and Green Mountain CEO Brian Kelley said the idea went through "considerable" testing with consumers.

"Consumers told us we should put Campbell soup in these machines," Kelley said.

Kelley and Morrison declined to say whether the agreement would prevent Green Mountain from offering other types of soup, such as those made by General Mills' Progresso.

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