Soup had witnessed double-digit retail volume growth in 2020 due to the home seclusion trend and increased at-home cooking, and despite predictions for declines in 2021, overall demand is likely to remain above pre-pandemic levels. Within broth, ongoing trends include consumers’ greater pursuit of umami and naturalness.
Over the review period, the consumption of global brands of soup as offered by the likes of Campbell Soup mainly focused on attracting Western and expatriate consumers despite its leadership of shelf stable soup, not to mention other global brands. However, increased at-home eating has activated audience diversification for these Western soup brands, with many consumers wanting to expand their range of meals beyond Chinese-style dishes, encouraging them to try cooking pasta and stewing meat with the help of Western shelf stable soup.
There was a long period during 2020 when in-store sales promotions such as discounts and cooking demonstrations were quite limited for many cooking ingredients and meals in Hong Kong; as there was a surge in demand for these products, discount promotions were not needed to encourage consumption. In addition, consumers visited grocery retailers for shorter periods of time with reduced frequency due to fears of exposure to the virus, which resulted in larger basket value.
Although broth is still expected to dominate soup to prepare simple dishes including hot pots, it is crucial for players not to neglect increasing competition from alternative convenient meal solutions. When reviewing their product portfolios in 2021, key players including Unilever, Heinz and Lee Kum Kee actively compared their returns on investment in liquid/powder stocks and fonds, and broth.
While shelf stable soup used for cooking was welcomed by consumers in 2020 and 2021, ready-to-drink options are increasing in popularity. One of the most successful brands in the ready-to-drink segment is Del Monte.
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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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