In 2018, soup volume sales registered a significant drop for the sixth consecutive year. Although during some years of the review period production problems affected sales, in recent years the main problem has been weak demand.
In light of the economic crisis, Argentinians are opting to prepare homemade soup rather than buy packaged soup in channels such as independent small grocers and hypermarkets. The reason for this is that homemade soups are significantly cheaper.
Shelf stable soup was the only category to record an increase in retail volume sales over the review period. The removal of barriers to imports since 2016 has played a key role in the growth of the category.
In 2017, Nestlé decided to stop selling its Maggi brand of instant soup and dehydrated soup in Argentina. This was because the brand had never reached any significant value sales and started to witness a heavy decline during the review period, largely due to a lack of both innovation and advertising.
Unilever de Argentina continued to dominate soup in 2018 thanks to the strength of its Knorr brand, which has served as an obstacle to the entry of other players. The failures of Maggi from Nestlé and Lucchetti from Molinos Río de la Plata over the review period showed that Knorr is able to withstand new competitors.
One of the main strategies used by Unilever to maintain its dominance in soup has been heavy investment in advertising in the mass media. Every year, the company runs different advertisements on television, mainly during the winter months, which is the peak period for soup consumption.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Packaged Food market research database.