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Who makes canned chicken and dumplings?


Canned chicken and dumplings is a popular comfort food that consists of pieces of chicken and small dough dumplings cooked together in broth. It’s a hearty, filling meal that is beloved for its simplicity and nostalgic qualities. But with so many brands of canned chicken and dumplings on grocery store shelves, it can be difficult to know which manufacturer produces the best product. This article will explore some of the top brands that make canned chicken and dumplings, looking at factors like ingredients, manufacturing process, and customer satisfaction to determine the leading producers of this canned classic.

Major Brands of Canned Chicken and Dumplings

Several major food companies produce canned chicken and dumpling products that can be found in most grocery stores across the United States. Here are some of the biggest brand names in this category:

Campbell’s

Campbell’s is one of the most recognizable names in canned soup and has been making chicken and dumplings since the 1930s. Their classic version contains chicken, carrots, celery, enriched egg noodles, chicken stock and seasoned dumplings. It has a creamy, comfort food profile that many grew up eating. Campbell’s chicken and dumplings can be found in most major grocery stores and retailers like Walmart.

Swanson

Like Campbell’s, Swanson is another heritage brand when it comes to canned foods. They produce a chicken and dumplings product made with chicken, broth, carrots, celery and small dumplings. Swanson’s version tends to have larger pieces of chicken and a clear broth. It offers a homemade taste and is widely available at stores like Kroger and Safeway.

Progresso

Progresso entered the canned soup market in the late 1970s and produces a range of chicken and dumpling soups. Their traditional recipe includes chicken, broth, vegetables and noodles, while variations add ingredients like rice, kale or lentils. Progresso chicken and dumplings aims for a heartier, chunkier profile in a creamy broth. It can be found at major chains like Target, Walmart and more.

Store Brands

Many grocery store chains also offer their own private label canned chicken and dumpling products. These are produced by major manufacturers to be sold under the store’s name. Brands like Whole Foods 365, Kroger, Safeway Signature Select and more carry chicken and dumpling soups made to mimic name brand versions at lower price points. Quality can vary by store but they provide an affordable alternative.

Ingredients

When comparing different canned chicken and dumpling options, looking closely at the ingredients list can provide insight into the quality and nutritional value of the product. Here are some key ingredients to evaluate:

Chicken

Higher quality versions will contain chunks of chicken breast meat rather than chicken byproducts. They may indicate the chicken is minimally processed with no added hormones or steroids. Watch for products with only trace amounts of chicken or high sodium chicken broths.

Dumplings

Dumplings make up an important part of chicken and dumplings. Some brands use dough or egg noodles in place of dumplings. Check for products made with rolled dumpling dough rather than dough scraps or crumbs.

Broth

The broth ties everything together and adds flavor. Opt for lower sodium chicken, vegetable or bone broths. High sodium broths can indicate the use of flavor enhancers rather than natural ingredients.

Vegetables

Carrots, celery, peas and potatoes are common additions. Varieties with thickening agents like cornstarch or excessive starch may overpower the flavors. Watch for cans with minimal vegetable pieces.

Preservatives

Canned foods require preservatives to ensure safe shelf life. However, brands with clean labels avoid unnecessary additives. Look for versions without excessive thickeners, stabilizers and artificial flavors or colors.

Manufacturing Process

The way different brands manufacture their canned chicken and dumplings also impacts the end result. Here are some key production factors:

Hand Rolled Dumplings

Brands that hand roll individual dumpling dough balls typically deliver better texture and flavor compared to those that use pre-formed or irregular pieces.

Cooking Method

Stovetop simmering through the entire canning process yields a homemade taste. Quicker methods like kettle cooking sacrifice depth of flavor.

Quality Control

Rigorous safety protocols and checks during canning are vital. Look for brands processed in the United States with strict quality control standards. Imported products may lack oversight.

Free Range Chicken

Using chicken from free range sources offers more control over hormones and steroid use. Factory farmed chicken has less consistent quality.

Non-GMO

Brands certified non-GMO assure their products are made without genetically engineered ingredients, for consumers who want to avoid GMOs.

Customer Satisfaction

Reviews and consumer feedback provide useful insight into how the top canned chicken and dumpling products actually taste and perform. Here are customer satisfaction highlights for the major brands:

Campbell’s

– Nostalgic comfort food flavor
– Creamy, thick broth
– Relatively small chicken pieces
– Mixed reviews on dumpling texture
– 4 out of 5 stars average rating

Swanson

– Large chicken chunks
– Clearer broth shows ingredients
– Flavor can be mildly bland
– Dumplings lack structure
– 3.5 out of 5 stars average rating

Progresso

– Chunky, stew-like profile
– Flavorful seasoning
– Chicken and veggies tend to be firm
– Dumplings are dense and doughy
– 3.75 out of 5 stars average rating

Store Brands

– More broth than meat/filler
– Cost effective but sacrificing quality
– Dumplings are often soggy
– Hit or miss consistency between batches
– 2.5 to 3 out of 5 stars average rating

Nutrition Information

When choosing between the many canned chicken and dumpling products, it helps to compare their nutritional profiles. Here is a nutrition facts table for the major brand options:

Brand Calories Total Fat Sodium Carbs Protein
Campbell’s 100 2g 780mg 12g 8g
Swanson 120 3.5g 930mg 13g 10g
Progresso 110 2g 850mg 15g 9g
Store Brands* 80-140 1-4g 600-1200mg 10-20g 5-12g

*Nutrition ranges for store brands are estimations based on reviewed products

This data shows that sodium levels tend to be quite high across all versions, as is common for canned soups. Progresso provides the most carbohydrates, while store brands have the widest range of calories and nutrients. Campbell’s and Swanson offer a middle of the road nutritional profile.

Price Comparison

The final consideration for many consumers is how much they will pay for their canned chicken and dumplings. Here is a pricing overview of a typical single can/serving:

Brand Typical Price
Campbell’s $2-$3 per can
Swanson $2-$2.50 per can
Progresso $2.50-$3 per can
Store Brands $1-$2 per can

The major national brands range from $2-3 per individual serving. Store brands offer the best value at half the cost, but may sacrifice some quality. Sales and bulk packages with multi-can packs can also lower the per can rate for stocking up.

Conclusion

When it comes to canned chicken and dumplings, Campbell’s, Swanson, and Progresso lead as the top national brands based on ingredients, manufacturing quality, and customer reviews. Campbell’s offers that traditional creamy comfort food profile. Swanson’s delivers on chunky chicken pieces and clear broth. And Progresso provides a hearty, stew-like take on chicken and dumplings. However, affordable store brands merit consideration for budget buyers willing to potentially sacrifice some flavor and texture for cost savings. Checking the ingredient list, nutritional information, and pricing can help determine the right canned chicken and dumpling product for each shopper based on their preferences and priorities. With such delicious options from various brands, chicken and dumpling lovers have their pick of quality canned versions of this classic dish.