Soups Continue to Target Consumer Trends
As the weather cools, many people’s thoughts turn to soup when their stomach’s rumble. Soup is a warm, convenient meal that’s easy to digest and rich in nutrients. It also has the unique ability to hydrate as it satisfies. Because there are endless ways to prepare soup, it can provide any number of vitamins, minerals, proteins, healthy fats, whole grains, and fiber. It’s also great-tasting and filling. Here are some of the best trends in soups we’re seeing this fall.
Soups for Sipping
Who says soup has to be served in a bowl with a spoon? Sipping soup out of a mug may not be a new concept but buying ready-to-heat soups in bottles you can drink right out of is one of the latest trends and one that’s being welcomed warmly by consumers. Especially during the colder months, soup is always an excellent option. Soup makers are experimenting with sipping soups, a variety of soups in microwaveable, sippable containers. These are no boring soups, either – they contain tempting blends of flavors, such as roasted red pepper and tomato, butternut squash and sweet potato, cauliflower and roasted potato, or sweet corn and roasted poblano.
When you need a pick-me-up and are tempted to grab an energy drink, consider the latest up-and-coming trend instead: energy soup. This soup is a brand-new category designed to provide nutrition and hydration along with a shot of energy for a complete snack or meal that restores get-up-and-go. Energy soups are packaged in ready-to-drink bottles with a variety of ingredients, such as sweet potato and mango, that taste great when drunk cold. These soups are created to be delicious and complex with a range of flavors – and a caffeine kick. Such a new category has ample room for both beverage and soup manufacturers to experiment with flavors and packaging to come up with new, popular products.
The new functional food trend is attracting health-conscious consumers in droves. These people look for foods that contain healthy ingredients handpicked to perform specific jobs. People are using diet as a primary way to be proactive about managing their health, with many even eschewing vitamin supplements in favor of superfoods and products containing these ingredients. Soup is a perfect platform for functional ingredients because it’s so easy to incorporate a variety of foods into one soup, such as ginger, beans, soy, and a wide range of vegetables. Likewise, it’s easy to incorporate a variety of flavors to make these soups delicious as well as healthy.
One of the best opportunities for growth exists in plant-forward dining, and soups are no exception. There is a surge in plant-based and plant-heavy eating lately; even consumers who don’t consider themselves vegan are still making an effort to eat more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains and less meat and fewer animal products overall. Soups offer an excellent platform for plant-forward formulations; even in soups that contain bone broth or egg noodles, for example, there is still plenty of room for plant-based ingredients, such as lentils, spinach, carrots, and much more.