SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- Forget seeing the castles on the Rhine, shoppers at the Big Y World Class Market here had the opportunity to view what may have been the world's largest soup-can castle right in the aisles.
The chain teamed with the Campbell Soup Co., Camden, N.J., to build the "castle" of 54,720 cans of Campbell's chicken noodle soup. Students from a local school were looking for a creative way to combine January's National Soup Month with February's Donate a Canned Good Month, and wrote to local companies asking for a donation of a can of soup. Big Y contacted Campbell's and the idea of building a castle took root.
The castle was made out of cut cases and was displayed in the store's warehouse club section. Big Y merchandised the soup as part of a buy-one-get-one-free promotion at 67 cents a can, and shoppers were asked to donate their free can to charity.
Claire D'Amour, vice president, corporate affairs, at Big Y told SN the display lasted about a week and was very successful. Chicken noodle soup was chosen because of its popularity.
"The buy-one-get-one-free sale went over pretty well. We found people donated a lot of cans of chicken noodle soup. We also donated a lot of soup and we gave Campbell's soup labels to the school," she said.
"We had a lot of local TV news reports on the castle. We got excellent coverage. It was a real good community effort all around," she said, adding that chicken noodle soup was donated to the Open Pantry, Gray House and Rachel's Table charities.
School officials have contacted the Guiness Book of World Records to have the display entered as the largest "soup-can castle" ever built, but D'Amour said having the display declared "the world's largest" is a long and arduous process, and the school needs to provide extensive documentation.