Despite fairly high per capita consumption in the Netherlands, demand for soup is stagnating due to increasing maturity of the largest category of shelf stable soup, and its link to seasonality, which encourages a higher proportion of Dutch consumers to eat soup with the arrival of autumn and into winter. During these months, consumers are more drawn to pumpkin or mushroom flavours, while during the spring they are more drawn to tomato or asparagus soup.
In line with the rising health trend in the country, Dutch consumers are increasingly choosing chilled or fresh formats within packaged food. This also applies to soup, where the niche chilled format continued to record stronger retail volume growth compared to the stagnation experienced by shelf stable, a trend that is predicted to continue into the forecast period.
To counter waning demand for soup in general, producers are attempting to promote their products as an ideal source of energy, through a convenient quick snack, meal complement or as a main meal. They are therefore attempting to reduce the seasonality of soup by extending its consumption occasions into the summer months through the offer of appetising chilled variants such as gazpacho.
Unilever retained its commanding lead of overall soup in 2019, due to its strength in the largest category of shelf stable soup with its leading brand Unox. However, the brand has had to adapt to changing consumption patterns amongst the Dutch in line with the rising health trend, encouraging it to review its formulas by reducing its salt content while increasing its quantity of vegetables.
Private label continued to gain value share within soup in 2019, and dominates the smaller but stronger performing chilled soup. Retailers are able to quickly adapt to consumers’ changing purchasing habits and are known for offering high quality products at accessible prices using natural ingredients.
Albert Heijn is adding the line “Granny’s Soup” (Oma’s Soep) to its assortment following the results of its AH Product Pitch in 2019, which the retailer organised for a fourth consecutive year. Through this project, Albert Heijn aims to encourage creativity and innovation amongst start-ups, allowing them to compete for the chance to gain a place on the retailer’s shelves.
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This industry report originates from Passport, our Packaged Food market research database.