Soup in cups, to which consumers simply add hot water, has increased in popularity, supported by its use by consumers at their workplaces. While this type of soup carries higher unit prices, consumers enjoy its convenience.
Soup is also expected to benefit from wider distribution as more major retailers are set to allocate more shelf space to soup over the forecast period, especially convenience stores, as soup has become a popular side dish at lunch time. Office workers often visit convenience stores at lunchtime to grab lunch, and appreciate a wide choice, especially when it comes to flavours.
Typically soup used to be consumed less often during the summer months in Japan due to the hot weather. However, towards the end of the review period, major manufacturers managed to stimulate demand for soup during the summer months by launching limited seasonal products, a trend set to continue into the forecast period.
Ajinomoto maintained its leading position in soup in 2018 due to its strong presence in shelf stable soup, dehydrated soup and instant soup. Towards the end of the review period, the company focused on marketing cold soup made with milk for consumption in the summer months in order to widen consumption occasions and stimulate consumer imagination.
Pokka Sapporo Food & Beverage performed well in 2018 thanks to its popular Jikkuri Kotokoto brand in shelf stable soup and instant soup. The company regularly promotes shelf stable soup products that are cold in bottles, appealing to the convenience of consumption and high nutritional content, especially useful for those who are recovering from illness or loss of appetite.
While the boundaries between soup and instant noodles are increasingly blurring, Ace Cook managed to increase the sales of its Soup Harusame brand line in which it offers various flavours, including popular Wan-Tun, Eggs and Spicy Mince. To avoid saturation, the company reduced its all-season flavours from nine to six, launching seasonal flavours to sell mostly in convenience stores in Japan.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Packaged Food market research database.