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Campbell Says It Won't Change Rao's Famous Sauce Recipe Amid Fans' Worry

Rao's lovers can breathe easy.

Rao's lovers, rejoice! The recipe for the super popular store-bought tomato sauce isn't going to change a bit, even as a major food company takes ownership of the brand.

The Campbell Soup Company announced this week that it was acquiring Sovos Brands, Inc., which owns Rao's, Noosa Yoghurt, and frozen meal brand Michael Angelo's. Soon after news of the acquisition broke, Rao's fans started to worry about what the acquisition by the industry giant will mean for the iconic sauces, which are praised for high quality and top-notch flavor.

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In a Reddit thread that garnered more than 700 comments, customers called the deal a "tragedy" and vowed to start stocking up on the sauce now, before Campbell has a chance to change the recipe for the worse.

"So I need to go load up before we start getting condensed tomato soup in the jar?" one Redditor asked.

"This is devastating. My pantry is crying," another said.

However, those fears turned out to be unfounded. Campbell has confirmed to Eat This, Not That! that they will not change the beloved sauces, so Rao's lovers can breathe easy.

"We're not touching it! Anyone who thinks we're going to touch the sauce, no," Campbell's CEO Mark Clouse said in a statement.

The reason that fans were so fearful about potential changes to Rao's recipes is that many consider Rao's to be a cut above other store-bought pasta sauces. The popular sauce brand stemmed from its famous namesake restaurant in New York City, opened by Italian immigrant Charles Rao in 1896. The restaurant became immensely popular for its Italian cuisine and home-style family ambiance, eventually expanding with additional locations in Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

In 1992, the brand started jarring and selling its signature marinara sauce in retail. And even though Rao's sauces are now mass-produced, customers still adore the taste and quality. According to Rao's website, the marinara is slow-simmered, made in small batches, and features high-quality ingredients like pure Italian olive oil and hand-picked tomatoes from southern Italy. What's even better is that Rao's products don't contain any added sugar, filler, colors, starch, water, tomato blends, and tomato paste, so the product is very straightforward.

Today, Rao's Specialty Foods sells a range of different pasta sauces, dry pasta, soups, and frozen foods both online and in grocery stores across the country.

Luckily for the many fans, Campbell's seems to be very aware of just how much consumers love Rao's products. Clouse was adamant while speaking to Yahoo Finance Live this week that fans will still have access to the same Rao's sauce they know and love.

"We've been pretty consistent for 125 years with a pretty darn good chicken noodle soup that we guard with our lives to make that quality stays the same," Clouse said. "We're going to protect that [Rao's recipe], as we should."

Zoe Strozewski
Zoe Strozewski is a News Writer for Eat This, Not That! A Chicago native who now lives in New Jersey, she graduated from Kean University in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. Read more about Zoe