Campbell Soup's (NYSE:CPB) soups are nutritious, hearty staples... too bad the same couldn't be said for the company's growth prospects.

Looks like management at the owner of brands such as V8 juices and Pepperidge Farm products isn't so confident about the future. Back in the summer of 2001, a respectable earnings growth rate of 8% was predicted; now, that figure has been scaled back to 5% to 7%, according to a recent press release.

Mmm, mmm... not so good. In fact, terrible. This is exactly the opposite of what a long-term investor expects from a long-term holding. Couple the slower growth rate with the announced job cuts (about 400 positions) and you can see why the current state of this foods producer isn't exactly inspiring a significant quantity of plucky confidence.

Campbell's recent earnings report wasn't a wonderful document to behold. Going forward, one has to wonder if Campbell's will be able to soup up its sales revenues for its core broth products to a level where it can indeed find a sweet spot to grow earnings. It'll have to reinvent its image in the minds of consumers -- especially all the youthful ones who were first in line today to see Sony's (NYSE:SNE) arachnid crime fighter -- in an effort to recapture some of its former culinary icon status.

The brand is strong and retains power, but there is always room for improvement. Brian Gorman reported on an artsy turn of marketing that the company initiated recalling Andy Warhol's style, and he rightly pointed out that such a move is not going to solve all of the problems. The stock can be considered useful for defensive plays, and while its dividend yield of better than 2% might be looked upon favorably in some circles, I have to say that I personally would not be looking at this company as a long-term investment in its current state (keep in mind, too, that the current annual payout is much lower than what it was several years ago). Those looking for ideas of entities that supply familiar consumer products to the shelves of retailers such as Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) and Albertsons (NYSE:ABS) might want to consider companies like PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP) and Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG).

In light of the chronic earnings cold it seems to have caught, Campbell Soup should have whatever passes for chicken soup in the world of Wall Street.

Fool contributor Steven Mallas owns none of the companies mentioned and has never had a bowl of soup in his life.