The demand for convenience is the major factor driving the growth of today’s soup industry. Premade packaged broths and noodle soups don’t take much effort and they are great for those who are always on-the-go. Moreover, the demand for healthy nutrition propels the growth of super premium soups mostly due to the fact that they are naturally formulated with fresh and local ingredients. They also often don't come with added sugar, preservatives, and colorants. Sometimes these ingredients include unusual components like ginger root, shiitake mushrooms and brown rice. Having these ingredients in the traditional soup recipes ignites curiosity and motivates consumers to try something new every day.
The soup industry has been going through its ups and downs for a few decades now. Major corporate players have seen considerable fluctuations in revenue and profits. And today, they are forced to step outside their comfort zone and think about the new ways to woo everyday customers. The need for innovation has led to a number of changes and influences that drive today’s soup market.
1. Soup in Boxes, Soup in Bags, Soup in Plastic Buckets
Over the past decade, canned soup sales declined across the industry, forcing major corporations to close factories. Millennials weren’t necessarily digging the can, so the demographics of modern soup-eaters skewed toward the older generation. Hoping to balance out consumer profile and improve poor sales, many companies began to revamp their approach to product presentation. A few rolled out new gourmet lines that came in a variety of packages, from boxes to plastic buckets. As it turned out, new packaging was here to stay.
2. New Varieties of Texture
Today, the variety of soup textures is amazingly limitless. From broth to cream-based soup recipes, there’s a multitude of possible flavor combinations to satisfy everyone’s pallets. Today’s consumers appreciate the traditional flavors of grandma’s chicken noodle soup, leek and potato soup, or tomato soup for example. But they also want more. They want something unique, something bigger. That’s when chefs begin experimenting with new and exciting flavors. For example, they blend the traditional chicken soup into a silky puree to create a brand new eating experience. From spicy bean soup to butternut squash soup, the opportunities are endless.
3. Soup Delivered to Your Door!
Non-food brands like Nike and Adidas have been successfully selling their goods directly to consumers via flagship stores and ecommerce sites for a few years now. In 2017, soup brands also began growing their direct sales by offering online delivery services of packaged broths and noodle soups. Soon you will be able to pick out any type of soup flavor online and get it delivered straight to your door right away!
4. Creative Twist on Global Flavors
Traditional flavors with an ethnic twist have become a go-to answer for many chefs who strive to surprise and inspire their audience. Take your mom’s hearty chicken soup, leek and potato soup, or tomato soup, and turn it into an Asian ramen, also known as chicken noodle soup, or a Mexican Sopa Azteca. For a hearty but spicy flavor, you can create butternut squash soup and add red pepper and chili too. That requires skill, discipline and innovation! Not only ethnic flavors are becoming our go-to food choice, they also deliver some pretty creative combinations of flavor and texture.
5. The Rise of All Natural and Organic Ingredients
Many consumers are looking for soups with added vitamins and minerals, no added sugar, as well as soups high in fiber, for example bean soup with extra red pepper. Brands that respond to this demand by offering all-natural and organic soup ingredients help consumers make healthier choices and therefore lead healthier life. Super premium soups use all natural ingredients in a large variety of flavors.
6. Going For Seasonal and Local Food
Finally, healthy, local and seasonal ingredients became incredibly important to consumers in the recent years as they promote healthy nutrition. Innovative soup brands provide a way to emphasize local ingredients without raising the cost of operations. They can mix local food from a nearby farm into the small batches of soup they produce, without spending too much on the ingredients.