The desire for nostalgic comfort was powerful in the US in 2020, which increased sales of soup to unprecedented levels. Brands that had struggled for years, particularly in terms of appealing to younger consumers disenchanted with highly processed packaged foods, could suddenly barely keep their products on store shelves.
The weakness of the soup category in the pre-pandemic era was largely driven by health and wellness concerns. Consumers were increasingly concerned about the consumption of highly processed foods high in fat and sodium, to the detriment of packaged soup.
Pandemic pressures led many major soup brands to slash their product offerings dramatically in 2020. General Mills, for example, reduced its soup offerings by roughly half.
Many people bought and ate soup in 2020 who would not have done so under normal conditions. This is the most important factor shaping the future of the category going into the forecast period.
Food preferences are shifting, and this trend will find its way into soup. 2020 showed that the nostalgic angle is a powerful one and not something that the category can avoid entirely, but is in itself not enough in a non-pandemic environment to keep the category growing consistently.
While 2021 has seen some consumers move back to bricks-and-mortar retailers, e-commerce sales overall are set to remain well above the 2019 baseline. In many ways 2020 served as a time machine, launching grocery retail several years into the future by getting consumers over the hurdles of downloading apps and getting accustomed to placing orders online.
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Understand the latest market trends and future growth opportunities for the Soup industry in USA 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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