Soup - UK - April 2013
‘Despite soup already benefiting from a healthy image, there are opportunities to further mine the health angle given that the majority of users would like to see more soups boasting added-health claims. There is scope for operators to look beyond the traditional ’low/no/reduced’ claims and vegetable content, for example, by introducing high fibre and health-boosting ingredients, such as oats and ancient grains.’
– Emma Clifford, Senior Food Analyst
Some questions answered in this report include:
- How can manufacturers promote soup as being more filling?
- How can manufacturers help to boost sales of soup during the summer months?
- What opportunities are there in soup with added health benefits?
- How can innovation in soup packaging engage the youngest and oldest users?
- How can soup brands tap into the home cooking trend?
Given the strong convenience element of soup, its generally healthy and good value positioning and the huge array of varieties catering to every taste, soup has an established place in British food culture, with over eight in ten adults having eaten soup in the past six months. While unrelenting price inflation has seen the soup market increase in value by 23% to £621 million between 2007 and 2012, volume sales have stagnated as a result of intense competition from both alternative meal solutions and the trend toward homemade soup. In the medium term, rapid growth in key user groups, namely over-55s and 25-34s, is set to benefit the market. However, the low levels of engagement among under-25s do not bode well for the market in the long term, suggesting this should be a focus for soup brands moving forward.
The seasonality of this quintessential ‘winter warmer’ category means that maintaining consumer interest in these products during the summer months presents an ongoing challenge to soup brands.
This report covers the UK retail market for soup in all its forms other than homemade. It covers three main sectors defined as:
- Wet ambient soup: This sector includes canned (tinned) soup – either as a ready-to-serve product or in a condensed format.
It also includes other formats such as cartons, pots, tubs or pouches.
Dried soup: This sector comprises:
- Packet soups, which require simmering (sometimes also referred to as simmer soups).
- Instant cup soups (to which water is added and no further cooking is required).
Chilled soup: This sector includes fresh chilled soup – sold from the chilled cabinet and with a shelf life of around 10-30 days.
- Frozen soup is a highly niche product. Mention is made of the product where relevant, but it is not included in market sizes.
- Soup sold through vending machines and on-trade through high street chains like Eat and Pret A Manger is excluded from this report.
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