he “Force” has hit center store, and it is an
indication of where the soup category is
In late fall, Campbell Soup Co., in collabo-
ration with Disney and Lucasfilm, debuted “Star Wars”-
themed soup labels for the company’s limited-edition
“Star Wars” licensed soups. The Camden, N.J.-based cen-
ter store stalwart backed the rollout with another clever
TV spot in its “Made for Real, Real Life” campaign, which
was part of the promotional push for its condensed soups
line launched to coincide with the mid-December release
of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.”
The new LTO, one of several moves by industry lead-
ers, shows that the soup category—though admittedly
experiencing a slump—still has a healthy pulse.
In fact, grocers who stock center store with the right
mix of shelf-stable soups and broths can attract consumers who continue to embrace soups ( 40. 5 million Americans used eight cans or more of canned or packaged
soup, broth and stock within a week in the United States
in 2016, Statista reports). They can also capture shoppers
looking for new soup options in a category Euromonitor
predicts will hit $5.2 billion in sales in 2021.
Data: A Mixed Bag
Down, up, holding steady: All are adjectives that describe
what’s happening in the soups and broths category. Over-
all, soup experienced a volume decline of 2%, according
to Soup in the U. S., a March 2017 Euromonitor report that
tracked the market using retail sales data from 2012-2016.
More recent data from Chicago-based market research
firm IRI shows that condensed wet soups have taken the
biggest dive, dipping 1.19% in dollar sales and 3.04% in
unit sales for the 52 weeks ending Nov. 5, 2017.
But there are bright spots. Broth/stock topped the soup
category in dollar and unit sales growth, besting bouillon,
condensed wet soup, dry soup, ramen and RTS wet soup,
IRI reports. According to IRI, dry broth/stock had sales
of $75.6 million dollar sales growth of 4.90% and 4.63%
unit sales growth for the 52 weeks ending Nov. 5, 2017.
Wet broth/stock sales totaled nearly $1.1 billion, representing 4.65% growth in dollar sales and 3.93% growth
in unit sales for the same period, IRI reports.
Bone broth has experienced an especially strong run.
U.S. retail sales of shelf-stable bone broth more than tripled in the past year, to $19.7 million, with the quality and
convenience of shelf-stable leading the market above frozen and chilled, according to SPINS MULO (multioutlet)
Natural channel and Specialty Gourmet channel for the
52 weeks ending Jan 22, 2017.
Innovation: An Antidote to Slumping Sales
Shelf-stable soups have earned a reputation as old-fashioned because they’ve been disproportionately popular
among consumers ages 55 to 74. That perception has
made them particularly unpopular with millennials, who
“are increasingly health-conscious and have avoided the
high sodium and artificial ingredients contained in many
All Souped Up
Soups and broths are warming center
store shelves. By Kathleen Furore
Amount by which U. S.
retail sales of shelf-stable bone broth
grew in the past year,
to $19.7 million.
Source: SPINS MULO Natural
channel and Specialty