Sat September 8, 2012

Warhol Soup Cans and Candy Corn Oreos. Does Limited Edition Matter?

Campbell’s Soup and Nabisco are unveiling limited edition products this month. Campbell’s released four special edition tomato soup cans in honor of the 50th anniversary of Andy Warhol’s iconic painting. And Nabisco has released a limited edition candy corn flavored Oreo for Halloween. 

Campbell’s released the Warhol cans in celebration of  the 1962 piece  32 Campbell’s Soup Cans. The labels are actually from the artist’s original work and are now available at Target stores across the country.

The limited edition products waiting to be tasted in the KUNC newsroom.
Credit Nathan Heffel / KUNC

Nabisco has also released a limited edition product –candy corn flavored Oreos. Also sold at Target, managers at the Greeley store say the uniquely flavored product will only be available through Halloween.

And there’s has been quite the buzz on the internet about the products. However, do limited edition products matter?

Some people love limited editions. From cars to children’s toys, the products can be a cash cow for companies. Remember the Beanie Baby craze?

However, a blogger from Northampton, MA feels differently. Speaking about luxury fashion brands, she says:

“If fashionistas want to fight tooth and nail for the "privilege" to pay $10,000 for a handbag, I could care less. But lately I've noticed a trend of mass market brands releasing limited edition products, and this really makes me angry.”

And while Campbell’s may be trying to boost sales of its tomato soup, it’s also struggling to reinvent itself for a new generation of buyers. The Denver Post reports that the 143 year old company is rolling out a few new products to entice younger buyers:

The remake could be a do-or-die task for Campbell. Overall canned soup consumption is down 13 percent over the past decade, according to the research firm Euromonitor International, as fresh soups have become more widely available at supermarkets and restaurants. And Campbell now has about 53 percent of the market, down from 67 percent a decade earlier.

Nabisco, and its Oreo brand on the other hand are doing quite well. According to Forbes, higher prices pushed the company’s first quarter profits higher, with Oreo cookie sales, along with other key products growing by 18%. That increased revenue for the company by 4.1% to $13.1 billion.