Campbell Soup Co. last week announced an agreement to add organic brand Pacific Foods amid continued efforts to combat a slumping packaged food industry.

The maker of Campbell's soup, Prego sauces and Pepperidge Farm baked goods will pay $700 million in cash for the Oregon company, which makes soups and broths as well as side dishes and plant-based beverages.

Campbell officials said that the 30-year-old company is a pioneer in the rapidly growing organic sector. The acquisition is the company's fifth in five years and bolsters its efforts to appeal to increasingly health-conscious consumers.

(AP Photo)

"Pacific is an authentic brand with a loyal consumer following," company president and CEO Denise Morrison said in a statement. "The acquisition allows us to expand into faster-growing spaces such as organic and functional food."

Campbell officials said that Pacific would be added to its Americas Simple Meals and Beverages division, which includes Campbell’s and Prego as well as the V8, Swanson, Pace and Plum Organics brands.

Pacific employs more than 500 workers and operates an organic plant in suburban Portland. Co-founder and CEO Chuck Eggert will continue to supply the company through his network of farms, and Campbell plans to bolster the company's distribution, supply chain, marketing and research and development.

"Looking ahead, a future with Campbell means we can maintain what we value while accelerating growth of the brand in a way that we couldn’t do alone," Eggert said.