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Soup - US - June 2016

"While the soup category is facing challenges due to the decline of RTS (ready to serve) wet and condensed soup, areas of opportunity exist. Sales of broth are up due to a cooking culture, and refrigerated soups are performing well in the market due to positive consumer sentiment surrounding the category."

Caleb Bryant, Foodservice Analyst

This report looks at the following areas:

  • Soup category sales are flat
  • Sodium levels are a challenge for packaged soup
  • Consumers are purchasing many different soups

For the purposes of this Report, Mintel has used the following definitions for soup:

  • RTS wet soup - canned or refrigerated soup that does not require additional ingredients, eg water or milk
  • Condensed wet soup - soup that can be used as-is in recipes or needs to have water or milk added to use as traditional soup
  • Dry soup mixes - dehydrated and requiring the addition of water to cook; most of these require simmering, although some are instant and need only be stirred. Includes bouillon and ramen noodle soup mixes
  • RTS broth - thin soup of concentrated meat, fish, or vegetable stock
  • Refrigerated fresh soup - soup that must be refrigerated to maintain freshness and heated to serve
  • Frozen soup - soup that requires thawing and heating from its frozen state

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • Soup category sales are flat
            • Figure 1: Total US sales and fan chart forecast soup, at current prices, 2011-21
          • Sodium levels are a challenge for packaged soup
            • Figure 2: Packaged soup issues, by gender and age, March 2016
          • Consumers are purchasing many different soups
            • Figure 3: Repertoire analysis, types of soup purchased, March 2016
          • The opportunities
            • Whitespace exists in the soup category
              • Figure 4: Correspondence analysis – Soup-type association, March 2016
            • Consumers are open to new soup packaging
              • Figure 5: Soup attitudes, by generation, March 2016
            • Refrigerated soup is an area of growth
              • Figure 6: Total US retail sales of soup, by segment, at current prices, 2010-16 (est)
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • Soups sales remain flat due to RTS wet and condensed categories
                • Refrigerated soups are an area of opportunity
                  • Health trends affect the soup market
                  • Market Size and Forecast

                    • Sales of soup remains flat; performance varies by segment
                      • Figure 7: Total US sales and fan chart forecast soup, at current prices, 2011-21
                      • Figure 8: Total US sales and forecast of soup, at current prices, 2011-21
                      • Figure 9: Total US sales and forecast of soup, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2011-21
                  • Market Breakdown

                    • RTS wet and condensed sales in decline; dry will soon surpass condensed
                      • Figure 10: Total US retail sales of soup, by segment, at current prices, 2010-16 (est)
                      • Figure 11: Share of total US retail sales of soup, by category, 2014 and 2016 (est)
                    • Year-over-year sales declines for RTS wet and condensed soups
                      • Figure 12: Total US retail sales and forecast of ready-to-serve wet soup, at current prices, 2011-21
                      • Figure 13: Total US retail sales and forecast of condensed wet soup, at current prices, 2011-21
                    • Falling sales of ramen are bringing down the dry soup segment
                      • Figure 14: Share of total US retail sales of dry soup 2015 and current 52-weeks ending February 2016
                      • Figure 15: Total US retail sales and forecast of dry soup, at current prices, 2011-21
                    • Sales of broth continue to grow
                      • Figure 16: Total US retail sales and forecast of wet broth/stock, at current prices, 2011-21
                    • Refrigerated soup makes up the lion’s share of refrigerated/frozen category
                      • Figure 17: Share of total US retail sales of refrigerated/frozen soup, 2015 and current 52-weeks ending February 2016
                      • Figure 18: Total US retail sales and forecast of refrigerated fresh soup/frozen soup, at current prices, 2011-21
                  • Market Perspective

                    • Restaurant competition
                    • Market Factors

                      • Changing demographics will affect the soup category
                        • Figure 19: Population by generation, 2011-2021
                      • Cooking culture and social media
                        • Figure 20: Statement agreement, “I really enjoy cooking”, fall 2010-fall 2015
                      • “Free-from” trends are shaping what people eat
                        • Figure 21: Statement agreement, “I prefer to eat foods without artificial additives”, fall 2010-fall 2015
                      • “Souping” is the hot new health trend
                      • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                        • Cooking consumers are driving broth growth
                          • Organic, free-from soups are a bright spot in the RTS wet category
                            • Ramen sales are hurting the dry soup category
                            • Manufacturer Sales of Soup

                              • Companies see soup sales slump
                                • Figure 22: MULO sales of soup (all categories), by leading companies, rolling 52-weeks 2015 and 2016
                              • Campbell’s loses market share to General Mills in RTS wet soup category
                                • Figure 23: MULO sales of ready to serve wet soup, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52-weeks 2015 and 2016
                              • A cooking culture is helping the dry soup category
                                • Figure 24: “Knorr #LoveAtFirstTaste”, online video, April 2016
                                • Figure 25: MULO sales of dry soup, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52-weeks 2015 and 2016
                              • Campbell’s maintains dominance in broth/stock category
                                • Figure 26: MULO sales of wet broth/stock, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52-weeks 2015 and 2016
                              • Refrigerated soup sees gains while frozen soup declines
                                • Figure 27: MULO sales of refrigerated fresh soup/ frozen soup, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52-weeks 2015 and 2016
                            • What’s Working?

                              • Organic, “free-from” soups resonate with consumers
                                • Figure 28: Wet soup launches, by select claims, 2013-2016*
                                • Figure 29: MULO sales of General Mills Inc., Annie’s Homegrown Inc. RTS wet Soup
                                • Figure 30: MULO sales of Campbell’s Soup Co. Campbell’s Organic RTS soup
                              • Home chefs are driving sales of broths/dry soups
                                • Figure 31: MULO sales of select products
                              • Private label refrigerated soups have room to grow
                              • What’s Struggling?

                                • Despite consumer health concerns, sales of healthy soup fall
                                  • Figure 32: MULO sales of select RTS wet soups
                                • Regular ramen isn’t satisfying
                                  • Figure 33: MULO sales of select ramen products
                                • Frozen soups are failing to capture consumers
                                  • Figure 34: MULO sales of select frozen soup products
                              • What’s Next?

                                • Easy to use packaging may be key to growth
                                  • Figure 35: RTS wet soup in tubs launched in 2016
                                  • Figure 36: Wet soup launches, by packaging, 2013-2016*
                                • Gazpacho offers health and convenience across dayparts
                                  • Soups look to the world for inspiration
                                  • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                    • Packaging innovations may revitalize the RTS wet soup category
                                      • There are whitespaces for different soup types
                                        • Consumers are aware of soup sodium levels
                                        • Soup Purchases

                                          • Soup is a staple product
                                            • Figure 37: Soup category purchases, March 2016
                                          • Consumers over 45 are the core canned soup customers
                                            • Figure 38: Soup category purchases, by age, March 2016
                                          • Women are key soup/broth users
                                            • Figure 39: Soup category purchases, by gender, March 2016
                                            • Figure 40: Soup category purchases, by gender and age, March 2016
                                          • Young parents are driving purchases of soup in unique packaging
                                            • Figure 41: Soup category purchases, by parents (of children under 18) and age, March 2016
                                            • Figure 42: Soup category purchases, by parents (of children under 18) and gender, March 2016
                                          • Soup cross-utilization
                                            • Figure 43: Soup category cross-utilization, March 2016
                                            • Figure 43: Soup category cross-utilization, March 2016 (continued)
                                        • Repertoire Analysis

                                          • Consumers are buying a variety of different soups
                                            • Figure 44: Repertoire analysis, types of soup purchased, March 2016
                                            • Figure 45: Repertoire analysis, by select demographics, March 2016
                                          • Soup-type “loyalists”
                                            • Figure 46: Soup category purchases, by soup-type loyalists, March 2016
                                        • Soup Consumption Frequency

                                          • Over a quarter of consumers purchase soup at least weekly
                                            • Figure 47: Soup consumption frequency, March 2016
                                        • Soup Place of Purchase

                                          • Majority of soup is purchased at supermarkets
                                            • Figure 48: Typical source of packaged soup, March 2016
                                          • Opportunity for frozen soup in club and natural stores
                                            • Figure 49: Typical source of packaged soup, by frozen soup users, March 2016
                                        • Soup-type Association

                                          • Correspondence analysis methodology
                                            • Strengths and weaknesses within the soup category
                                              • Figure 50: Correspondence analysis – Soup-type association, March 2016
                                              • Figure 51: Soup-type association, March 2016
                                          • Soup Attitudes

                                            • Soup is purchased for its convenience and value
                                              • Figure 52: Soup attitudes, March 2016
                                            • Men want indulgent soups while women care about health
                                              • Figure 53: Soup attitudes, by gender and age, March 2016
                                            • Reach the youngest consumers through packaging innovations
                                              • Figure 54: Soup attitudes, by generation, March 2016
                                            • Urbanites are most open to product innovations
                                              • Figure 55: Soup attitudes, by area, March 2016
                                          • Packaged Soup Issues

                                            • Sodium levels are a top concern
                                              • Figure 56: Packaged soup issues, by soup users and non-users, March 2016
                                            • Women are most concerned with sodium levels
                                              • Figure 57: Packaged soup issues, by gender and age, March 2016
                                            • Hispanics want more packaging options
                                              • Figure 58: Packaged soup issues, by Hispanics, March 2016
                                          • CHAID Analysis – Soup as a Snack

                                            • Methodology
                                              • Young, RTE soup buyers are the target market for “soup as a snack”
                                                • Figure 59: Soup attitudes – CHAID – Table output, March 2016
                                            • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                              • Data sources
                                                • Sales data
                                                  • Fan chart forecast
                                                    • Consumer survey data
                                                      • Abbreviations and terms
                                                        • Abbreviations
                                                          • Figure 60: Soup attitudes – CHAID – Table output, March 2016
                                                      • Appendix – Market

                                                          • Figure 61: Total US retail sales and forecast of soup, at current prices, 2011-21
                                                          • Figure 62: Total US retail sales and forecast of soup, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2011-21
                                                          • Figure 63: Total US retail sales and forecast of soup, by segment, at current prices, 2011-21
                                                          • Figure 64: Total US retail sales of soup, by segment, at current prices, 2014 and 2016
                                                          • Figure 65: Total US retail sales and forecast of ready-to-serve wet soup, at current prices, 2011-21
                                                          • Figure 66: Total US retail sales and forecast of ready-to-serve wet soup, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2011-21
                                                          • Figure 67: Total US retail sales and forecast of condensed wet soup, at current prices, 2011-21
                                                          • Figure 68: Total US retail sales and forecast of condensed wet soup, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2011-21
                                                          • Figure 69: Total US retail sales and forecast of dry soup, at current prices, 2011-21
                                                          • Figure 70: Total US retail sales and forecast of dry soup, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2011-21
                                                          • Figure 71: Total US retail sales and forecast of wet broth/stock, at current prices, 2011-21
                                                          • Figure 72: Total US retail sales and forecast of wet broth/stock, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2011-21
                                                          • Figure 73: Total US retail sales and forecast of refrigerated fresh soup/frozen soup, at current prices, 2011-21
                                                          • Figure 74: Total US retail sales and forecast of refrigerated fresh soup/frozen soup, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2011-21
                                                          • Figure 75: Total US retail sales of soup, by channel, at current prices 2011-16
                                                          • Figure 76: Total US retail sales of soup, by channel, at current prices 2014 and 2016
                                                          • Figure 77: US supermarket sales of soup, at current prices, 2011-16
                                                          • Figure 78: US sales of soup through other retail channels, at current prices, 2011-16
                                                      • Appendix – Consumer

                                                          • Figure 79: Statement agreement, “I really enjoy cooking”, Fall 2010-Fall 2015
                                                          • Figure 80: Statement agreement, “I prefer to eat foods without artificial additives”, Fall 2010-Fall 2015

                                                      Companies Covered

                                                      • Walmart Stores (USA)

                                                      Soup - US - June 2016

                                                      £3,277.28 (Excl.Tax)