Soup increased in 2018 both in retail value and volume terms, driven by the emerging trend for passing food preferences, with an increasing number of consumers looking for convenient, easy and time-efficient food preparations. In terms of the increased employment rate, especially the growing number of female workers in Azerbaijan, fast and ready-to-eat trends significantly grew in Azerbaijan, supporting sales of packaged soup during the review period.
Supermarkets became the major distribution channel of emerging soup in terms of changing shopping habits in 2018 due to the convenience that modern grocery retailers provide to consumers, as well as lower unit prices. In addition, manufacturers and suppliers of soup give preference to distributing their products through modern grocery channels with their strongly positioned locations, better conditions for successful in-store promotional campaigns and wider networks.
While most local consumers during the year showed a preference for packaged soup in terms of busier lives, some citizens continued to stay away from packaged soup due to chemical additives in the ingredients, publicly accepted as harmful for health.
In 2018, soup continued to be led by Avrora, which distributed dehydrated soup brand Rollton locally. Success of the company comes down to the high perception of Rollton as a trusted, established and well-recognised soup brand, due to active promotions through Russian and local television, as well as other media channels.
In 2018, local production of soup remained insignificant, due to the complexity of the production process, high capital expenditure required for building the plant and operational expenditures for running the business of packaged soup in Azerbaijan. Since soup sales were not high enough in 2018 to make it profitable, local companies were not interested in developing domestic production of soup.
New soup launches were not significant in 2018, although some packaging innovations appeared during the year with convenience claims. For instance, Ülker from Yildiz Holding was offered in multiple packages of 12 and 24 for dehydrated soup with competitive prices.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Packaged Food market research database.