As a result of the COVID-19 lockdown restrictions in place across Costa Rica, along with the economic slowdown which has caused a number of consumers to face lower disposable incomes, the demand for tasty, convenient, and affordable comfort food boosts demand for soup in 2020. Soup is seen as a convenient and versatile product, which benefits from its perception as a functional food option that can be consumed to support immunity and boost health, such as the famous chicken broths.
Soup sales in Costa Rica continue to be dominated by the traditional products offered by the international players Nestlé, with its Maggi brand, and Unilever, with its Knorr brand. They continue to benefit from being top-of-mind brands that have wide distribution networks through both modern and traditional grocery retailers.
Behind the two leading players, Nestlé and Unilever, there is a relatively small range of players that include imported brands such as Campbell’s, Progresso, Pacific and Alessi. They compete for sales based on added-value formulations that include higher-quality ingredients and convenient and easy-to-prepare concentrated or RTE liquid formats.
Value-for-money and convenient preparation claims will continue to benefit dehydrated and instant soup products at modern and traditional grocery retailers across the country into the forecast period. These products are targeted at middle- and low-end consumers looking for appealing and easy-to-prepare formats at very affordable unit prices.
The low levels of innovation that characterise soup in Costa Rica means that there is great potential to develop additional levels of segmentation and specialisation over the forecast period. Locally sourced organic ingredients could open up new development opportunities for smaller players looking to target upper-end consumers as well as addressing the demands of higher-end foodservice channels across the country.
New development opportunities for smaller-scale international and domestic players capable of offering convenient added-value products focused are expected into the forecast period. In this context, it is anticipated that organic plant-based dehydrated soups will be a key focus area over the forecast period, allowing niche manufacturers the possibility of reaching an expanding base of upper-end millennial consumers and their families.
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This report originates from Passport, our Soup research and analysis database.
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