Campbell Soup has hired a former Amazon executive to run its digital and e-commerce division. The manufacturer aims to generate $300 million in e-commerce sales over the next five years, making clear how rapidly digital is transforming the grocery sector.

The company’s iconic Campbell’s label was the only new brand to join the Genius category in L2’s most recent Digital IQ Index: Food, making clear that its focus on digital sets the manufacturer apart from its peers. The brand has also focused heavily on Amazon, where it owns the top-selling product in its category and partners with Amazon Echo to let users ask Alexa for recipes from the Campbell’s Kitchen site. In addition, Campbell’s earns the largest share of shelf on the e-tailer, appearing more often than rival Progresso for the same set of canned food keywords, and cements its visibility by purchasing space in a variety of ad formats.

Campbell’s digital savvy extends far beyond Amazon to other e-tailers as well as the broader SEO landscape. The brand boasts higher organic ownership of branded terms than any other company in L2’s study, thanks to its depth of recipe and e-commerce content.

Branded terms

Given the scale of those investments, Campbell’s move to build up its digital and e-commerce program makes sense. The hiring of an Amazon executive in particular also reflects the e-tailer’s growing presence in grocery and the fact that digital — not the local supermarket — increasingly represents brands’ path to growth.

“E-commerce is a significant growth opportunity for Campbell, and it represents the future of food commerce,” Mark Alexander, Campbell Soup’s president of Americas Simple Meals and Beverages, told Meat + Poultry. “Only those who get there in a fast and smart way will win.”

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