Walk down any soup aisle at a grocery store and you'll see there are plenty of options these days to the standard condensed soup can that many of us grew up with.
There are jars and film-coated boxes and microwaveable containers specifically designed to fit into your car's cupholder. (I'll leave the topic of distracted driving/eating to someone else.)
And, increasingly, there are stand-up pouches made from multilayer film that are both easy to put in the microwave and less expensive to ship and store, although more complicated to recycle.
So I understand the interest in trying out new marketing angles in soup packaging.
And I also understand that companies are working hard to draw buyers to their products.
But even then, I'm not sure I understand who signed off on the combination of Keurig Green Mountain Inc. K-Cup brewers and Campbell Soup Co. soups.
Yes, you can now use the single-cup brewer to also make your lunch.
It works like this: You empty a packet of dehydrated noodles and other ingredients in a cup, pop a plastic K-Cup with soup broth in your Keurig, then hit brew.
So … it's like instant soup, but instead of just heating the water and pouring it in, you have an additional plastic pod with the dehydrated broth powder.
Mind you, Keurig has been taking hits in both the consumer and investor markets lately, which may be driving its outreach beyond coffee, tea and hot chocolate.
Environmentalists have taken the company to task for the difficulty of recycling its K-Cups. It faced consumer backlash when buyers discovered that its newest brewers required a different type of K-Cup than those already on store shelves.
And sales are down too, with sales of coffee pods down by 1 percent for the third quarter of 2015 vs. 2014 and brewer sales down by 26 percent.
Compare that to just a few years ago, when Keurig Green Mountain saw its overall sales climb more than $1 billion between 2010 and 2011.
Its share price has fallen from an all-time high of $158 in November to less than $60.
But President and CEO Brian Kelley still predicts the brewer will be in 50 million households, double its market penetration today.
And even with a drop in sales, consumers still bought 1.3 million brewers during the third quarter. That's a sizable market.
As Michael Goodman, marketing director for innovation at Campbell Soup, put it in a news release promoting the arrival of “Campbell's Fresh-Brewed Soup,” more than 80 percent of Keurig users also buy Campbell products.
“Bringing together two products people love in one handy kit is a winning idea,” Goodman said.
Winning? I don't know about that, personally, but the debut of the K-Cup/Soup combination certainly brought both companies some attention.
A quick Google search of the words “Campbell, soup and Keurig” yields more than 270,000 hits. That's a lot of media play.
But does that mean I'm ready to taste test it myself?
Not so much. Actually not at all.
I love coffee. And I'm a fan of soup. Putting the two together? No. Just no.