Description

Stay ahead of the curve and grow your business with Mintel’s US Soup Market Report 2023. Our full report is packed with consumer-led market intelligence, the latest trends and consumer behaviors affecting your industry. Get a 360° view of the US Soup industry including market size, share and forecasted growth to help you align your business strategy with the needs of your audience.

Below, we’ve handpicked the key insights analyzed in the full report and summarized the core topics.

This Report Covers the Following Areas

  • Types of soup purchased.
  • Factors important in soup selection.
  • When and how soup is eaten.
  • Attributes associated with soup formats.

US Soup Market – Current Landscape

Soup is projected to continue its strong sales momentum in 2023, posting its second consecutive year of double digit growth. Amid a time of cost-consciousness, the convenience and familiarity of soup provides value beyond affordability for many consumers.

  • US soup market size: The market increased by 14.2% in 2022, and Mintel forecasts a further 12.3% growth in 2023.
  • US soup market segmentation: Dry soup has driven growth in the category in recent years, overtaking ready-to-serve wet soup as category leader in 2021.

US Soup Market Trends and Opportunities

Flavor drives soup choice

Over two thirds of consumers agree that flavor is an important factor when selecting a soup. In fact, flavor was the most common factor, ahead of price, which highlights the inherent affordability of the category. However, flavor innovation is lacking in the category, only around a quarter of soup consumers describe current offerings as flavorful. Bold, spicy and internationally inspired flavors are the biggest opportunity to drive growth.

Healing and health

Currently, over half of consumers report having soup when they’re feeling sick, but less than a third do so when they want a healthy meal. Brands can do more to bridge the gap between healing and health. Opportunities exist to promote products with high vitamins and high protein, as well as functional claims, such as gut health.

Key Players in the US Soup Industry

This report looks at the market share and sales of leading soup companies in the US, including Campbell Soup Company, General Mills, Toyo Suisan Kaisha, Nissin Foods, JAB Holding Company, and Unilever.

Purchase our full US Soup Market Report 2023 to discover lucrative innovation opportunities to help your business grow during times of financial uncertainty.

Expert Insights from a Food Industry Specialist

This report, written by Mimi Bonnett, a leading food and drink analyst, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends in the US Soup market and add expert context to the numbers.

Brands must address soup’s paradox, renowned for healing, but not health, to prepare a new generation of soup fans for increased occasions. Affordability and convenience have sustained pandemic growth, but longstanding retention requires exciting flavor innovation and reframed health positioning that allows soup to stand as a functional, nutrient dense offering.

Mimi Bonnett, Senior Director, US Food and DrinkMimi Bonnett
Senior Director – US Food and Drink

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • This Report looks at the following areas
        • Definition
          • Market context
          • Executive Summary

              • Top takeaways
                • Consumer trends
                  • Lack of product loyalty means an open field for soup exploration
                    • Figure 1: Soup statements – Trial, by key demos, 2023
                  • Flavor, price drive soup choice; health is a sleeper influencer
                    • Figure 2: Factors important in soup selection, 2023
                  • Expand perception of soup from healing to healthy
                    • Figure 3: Soup occasions, 2023
                  • Competitive strategies
                    • Category players must shift focus from less to more
                      • Figure 4: Soup launches, by leading claims, 2021-23*
                    • Success of dry soup points to value of flavor innovation
                      • Figure 5: Total US retail sales and forecast of soup, by segment share, at current prices, 2018-28
                    • Remedy mundane perceptions with fun flavor
                      • Figure 6: Soup launches ranked by the attributes “exciting,” 2023*
                    • Market predictions
                      • Heat on soup may soon cool
                        • Figure 7: Total US retail sales and fan chart forecast of soup, at current prices, 2018-28
                        • Figure 8: Soup outlook, 2023-28
                      • Opportunities
                        • Bold flavor innovation can drive soup trial
                          • Figure 9: Attitudes toward soup – Innovation – Net – Any agree*, 2023
                        • Brands must help consumers thinking beyond the bowl
                          • Figure 10: Attitudes toward soup – Use/customization – Net – Any agree*, 2023
                        • Lean into seasonal offerings to capitalize on year-round consumption
                          • Figure 11: Soup statements – Warmer months, by key demos, 2023
                      • Market Size and Forecast

                        • Soup projected to surpass $10 billion in 2023
                          • Figure 12: Total US retail sales and fan chart forecast of soup, at current prices, 2018-28
                          • Figure 13: Total US retail sales forecast of soup, at current prices, 2018-28
                          • Figure 14: Total US retail sales forecast of soup, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2018-28
                      • Segment Performance

                        • Broth/stock projected to surpass condensed wet soup sales in 2023
                          • Dry soup widens newly won lead
                            • Wet broth/stock expected to overtake condensed wet soup in 2023
                              • Refrigerated/frozen segment is a small but mighty mover
                                • It’s not too late for RTS wet and condensed soup
                                  • Figure 15: Total US retail sales and forecast of soup, by segment, at current prices, 2018-28
                                  • Figure 16: Year-over-year change in total US retail sales and forecast of soup, by segment, at current prices, 2019-28
                                  • Figure 17: Total US retail sales and forecast of soup, by segment share, at current prices, 2018-28
                                • Other channels close the gap on dominant supermarkets
                                  • Figure 18: Total US retail sales and forecast of soup, by channel, at current prices, 2018-23
                                  • Figure 19: Year-over-year change in total US retail sales and forecast of soup, by channel, at current prices, 2018-27
                              • Market Factors

                                • Lingering inflation represents opportunity for soup brands
                                  • Figure 20: Changes in Consumer Price Indexes, legacy data, 2020 through 2023
                                  • Figure 21: Saving money on food and drink, 2023
                                  • Figure 22: Cooking motivation, 2019-22
                                  • Figure 23: Cooking attitudes, 2019-22
                              • Key Players

                                • Campbell Soup Company controls a third of soup sales at MULO
                                  • Sales of soup by company
                                    • Figure 24: Share of multi-outlet sales of soup, by leading companies, 52 weeks ending March 26, 2023
                                    • Figure 25: Multi-outlet sales of soup, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2022 and 2023
                                  • Dry soup segment dabbles with flavor refresh
                                    • Figure 26: Cup Noodles Breakfast, 2023
                                    • Figure 27: Multi-outlet sales of dry soup, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2022 and 2023
                                  • Top-heavy RTS segment dominated by Campbell’s, Progresso
                                    • Figure 28: Multi-outlet sales of ready-to-serve wet soup, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2022 and 2023
                                  • Condensed wet soup carried by Campbell’s
                                    • Figure 29: Multi-outlet sales of condensed wet soup, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2022 and 2023
                                  • Private label, smaller brands gain on wet broth/stock leaders
                                    • Figure 30: Multi-outlet sales of wet broth/stock, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2022 and 2023
                                  • JAB, private label top refrigerated fresh/frozen segment
                                    • Figure 31: Multi-outlet sales of refrigerated fresh soup/frozen soup, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2022 and 2023
                                • Competitive Strategies and Market Opportunities

                                  • Ingredient, nutrient focus takes healthy positioning to the next level
                                    • Figure 32: Soup launches ranked by the attribute “healthy,” 2023*
                                    • Figure 33: Top factors when shopping for food, 2021-23
                                  • It’s time to focus on function rather than free-froms
                                    • Figure 34: Soup launches, by leading claims, 2021-23*
                                    • Figure 35: Soup launches, by fastest growing claims, 2021-23*
                                  • Refresh the audience, occasions with enhanced flavor
                                    • Figure 36: Soup launches ranked by the attributes “exciting,” 2023*
                                • The Soup Consumer – Fast Facts

                                  • Soup remains a household staple
                                    • Variety is a hallmark of soup participation
                                      • Affordability is a given, flavor is a point of differentiation
                                        • Canned soup needs a dash of excitement
                                          • Functional soup could find appeal
                                            • Soup can be a great filler during challenging times
                                            • Soup Purchase

                                              • 91% of US adults purchase soup
                                                • Figure 37: Soup purchase, 2023
                                              • Soup is a staple for more than a third of category participants
                                                • Figure 38: Soup statements – Purchase, 2023
                                              • Only a third of soup buyers are loyalists
                                                • Figure 39: Soup statements – Trial, by key demos, 2023
                                              • Soup format purchase shifts with age, pointing to changing needs ahead
                                                • Figure 40: Soup purchase, gender and age, 2023
                                                • Figure 41: Soup statements – Purchase, by gender and age, 2023
                                              • Incentivize moms with prep and planning tools
                                                • Figure 42: Soup purchase, parental status, 2023
                                            • Factors Important in Soup Selection

                                              • Flavor, price drive soup choice; health factors are lower priority, for now
                                                • Figure 43: Factors important in soup selection, 2023
                                                • Figure 44: Soup statements – Health/nutrition, by key demos, 2023
                                              • Older shoppers drawn to low-/no-; younger shoppers want more
                                                • Figure 45: Factors important in soup selection, by gender and age, 2023
                                              • Flavor and price both rise in importance among moms
                                                • Figure 46: Factors important in soup selection, by parental status, 2023
                                            • Soup Occasions

                                              • Soup’s paradox: in sickness, but not health
                                                • Figure 47: Soup occasions, 2023
                                              • Women may be most lured by functional soup
                                                • Figure 48: Soup occasions, by gender and age, 2023
                                              • Functional soup boosts value for cash-strapped shoppers
                                                • Figure 49: Soup occasions, by financial situation, 2023
                                              • Soup is enjoyed year-round; lean into seasonal offerings
                                                • Figure 50: Soup statements – Warmer months, by key demos, 2023
                                            • Soup Behavior

                                              • Soup most likely eaten on its own, more than half eat with crackers
                                                • Figure 51: Soup behavior, 2023
                                              • Drinkable soup resonates with young consumers
                                                • Figure 52: Bare Bones Lentil Curry Plant-Based Soup, 2023
                                                • Figure 53: Soup behavior, by gender and age, 2023
                                              • Mix-ins, toppings and sides add value/excitement/nutrition to soup
                                                • Figure 54: Krutones, 2023
                                                • Figure 55: Soup behavior, by financial situation, 2023
                                              • Majority of consumers are interested in doing more with their soup
                                                • Figure 56: Campbell’s, 2023
                                                • Figure 57: Attitudes toward soup – Use/customization – Net – Any agree*, 2023
                                              • Young shoppers most likely to be enticed by customization
                                                • Figure 58: Attitudes toward soup – Use/customization – Net – Any agree*, by gender and age, 2023
                                              • Promote soup as a tool to stretch meals
                                                • Figure 59: Attitudes toward soup – Use/customization – Net – Any agree*, by financial situation, 2023
                                            • Attributes Associated with Soup Formats

                                              • Canned soup excels at ease and affordability, lacks excitement
                                                • Freshen up packaged soup via customization
                                                  • Jarred soup can be an occasional upgrade
                                                    • Figure 60: Correspondence analysis – Symmetrical map – Associations with soup packaging, 2023
                                                    • Figure 61: Associations with soup packaging, 2023
                                                  • Packaged soup has room to boost nutritional messaging
                                                    • Figure 62: Bare Bones Lentil Curry Plant-Based Soup, 2023
                                                    • Figure 63: Attitudes toward soup – Nutrition – Net – Any agree*, 2023
                                                • Soup Statements

                                                  • Price/cost
                                                    • Soup recognized as budget-friendly, allowing for accessible trade-ups
                                                      • Figure 64: Attitudes toward soup – Price/cost – Net – Any agree*, 2023
                                                    • Innovation
                                                      • Bold flavor innovation can drive soup trial
                                                        • Figure 65: Happy Egg x Nongshim, 2022
                                                        • Figure 66: Attitudes toward soup – Innovation – Net – Any agree*, 2023
                                                        • Figure 67: Attitudes toward soup – Innovation – Net – Any agree*, by gender and age, 2023
                                                      • Soup kit interest is limited, innovation dollars better spent elsewhere
                                                        • Figure 68: Soup statements – Starter kits, by key demos, 2023
                                                      • Sustainability
                                                        • Sustainability efforts could help brands stand out from the pack
                                                          • Figure 69: Attitudes toward soup – Sustainability – Net – Any agree*, 2023
                                                      • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                        • Data sources
                                                          • Sales data
                                                            • Forecast
                                                              • Consumer survey data
                                                                • Correspondence analysis methodology
                                                                  • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                    • Abbreviations
                                                                      • Terms
                                                                      • Appendix – The Market

                                                                          • Figure 70: Average annual household spending on soup, 2018-23
                                                                          • Figure 71: Total US retail sales and forecast of dry soup, at current prices, 2018-28
                                                                          • Figure 72: US retail sales and forecast of dry soup, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2018-28
                                                                          • Figure 73: Growth of multi-outlet dollar sales and volume sales of dry soup, 2018-22
                                                                          • Figure 74: Total US retail sales and forecast of ready-to-serve wet soup, at current prices, 2018-28
                                                                          • Figure 75: Total US retail sales and forecast of ready-to-serve wet soup, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2018-28
                                                                          • Figure 76: Growth of multi-outlet dollar sales and volume sales of ready-to-serve wet soup, 2018-22
                                                                          • Figure 77: US retail sales and forecast of condensed wet soup, at current prices, 2018-28
                                                                          • Figure 78: Total US retail sales and forecast of condensed wet soup, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2018-28
                                                                          • Figure 79: Growth of multi-outlet dollar sales and volume sales of condensed wet soup, 2018-22
                                                                          • Figure 80: Total US retail sales and forecast of wet broth/stock, at current prices, 2018-28
                                                                          • Figure 81: Total US retail sales and forecast of wet broth/stock, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2018-28
                                                                          • Figure 82: Growth of multi-outlet dollar sales and volume sales of wet broth/stock, 2018-22
                                                                          • Figure 83: US retail sales and forecast of refrigerated fresh soup/frozen soup, at current prices, 2018-28
                                                                          • Figure 84: Total US retail sales and forecast of refrigerated fresh soup/frozen soup, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2018-28
                                                                          • Figure 85: Multi-outlet sales of refrigerated fresh soup/frozen soup, by value and volume, 2018-22
                                                                          • Figure 86: US supermarket sales of soup, at current prices, 2018-23
                                                                          • Figure 87: US sales of soup through other retail channels, at current prices, 2018-23
                                                                      • Appendix – Key Players

                                                                          • Figure 88: Multi-outlet sales of soup, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2022 and 2023

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