In 2020, soup bucked the previous declining trend and turned to growth in both retail volume and current value terms. The closure of foodservice channels and home seclusion during the first year of COVID-19 in the country led to a significant increase in the home consumption of food.
Soup plays an important role in Chinese culinary traditions. However, tradition places a strong emphasis on nourishment, long stewing and fresh ingredients.
Soup remains a fragmented category, with only three players – Subo Foods, Unilever China and Shanghai McCormick Foods – registering notable individual value shares, and players outside the top three accounting for more than half of value sales. Subo Foods is set to continue to strengthen its lead in soup in 2021.
In the forecast period, soup is set to return to the trend seen before the pandemic struck, with slow and stable declines in both retail volume and current value terms, with neither instant nor dehydrated soup expected to achieve growth. Chinese people pay close attention to the quality of soup.
The rise in consumer health awareness will pose a potentially significant threat to the development of soup during the forecast period, especially with the increasing trend towards a holistic and preventive approach to health and wellness. As a result, consumers are placing a growing emphasis on the role of nutrition in maintaining health and displaying a growing preference for products containing natural ingredients.
With foodservice outlets recovering and the operations of food delivery services returning to normal post-pandemic, soup faces a growing threat from busy consumers ordering food to be delivered. The soup offered by food delivery platforms is considered to taste better than packaged soup, as well as being more nutritious, because it is freshly cooked.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Soup industry in China with research from Euromonitor International's team of in-country analysts – experts by industry and geographic specialisation.
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Soups is the aggregation of dried (dehydrated formats), shelf stable and chilled and frozen soups. Includes: Ready-made, pre-packaged soup, regardless of format. Excludes: Liquid stocks and or stock/bouillon cubes. These are tracked in sauces, dressings and condiments, under cooking ingredients. Herbal soup mixes common in Asia are also excluded.See All of Our Definitions
This report originates from Passport, our Soup research and analysis database.
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