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The Price History of Campbell's Tomato Soup

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It’s soup season, so what better time to update our records of the historic prices Americans have paid for an iconic can of Campbell’s Condensed Tomato Soup, which now span January 1898 through January 2020!

Unit Price per Can* of Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup at Discounted Sale Pricing, January 1898 - January 2020

As of January 2020, the average advertised sale price that Americans have paid for a 10.75 fluid ounce can of Campbell’s condensed tomato soup is $0.85. Almost all of that price escalation has occurred since 10 April 1974, when the U.S. government lifted its price controls on food, where for the first 76 years of its history, Americans paid somewhere between $0.07 and $0.12 for each Number 1-size can of Campbell’s Condensed Tomato Soup they bought.

If you do the math, where the average picnic-size can of Campbell’s tomato soup could be bought for just $0.12 on sale as late as October 1973, that works out to an average annual rate of tomato soup inflation of about 4.3% for American consumers during the last 46+ years.

Fifteen years ago, it wasn’t uncommon to see a can of Campbell’s tomato soup on sale for $0.20. Today’s, it’s becoming rare to see a sale price below $0.50 when the soup is heavily discounted, but still without having to use coupons.

Image Credit: Paweł Czerwiński

Previously on Political Calculations

Our coverage of America’s most iconic soup, presented in reverse chronological order!

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  • Busta Myth

    The tins used to be 16 ounces too way back then not 10.75 ounces

    They call that SHRINKFLATION…the product gets smaller in size, weight or volume and the prices keep going up and up

    like they are doing that on Coca Cola now, the bottles Shrunk from the usual 2 litre bottles to 1.75 or 1.5 litre bottles and the prices are higher than the 2 litre bottles that used to be well under £2

    and don’t even mention how much cigarettes and rolling tobacco has gone up over the years and most of that is TAX

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