Stocking Up On Broth

Younger consumers are revitalizing the soup category with their interest in premium broths and stocks.

Few things are as cozy as homemade chicken noodle soup, but it does require time and effort. However, today’s millennials are revitalizing the soup category with their interest in cooking dishes and soups with broths and stocks, and even bone broths.

The $6.76 billion soup category has experienced flat sales and is projected to only grow 0.8 percent by 2021, according to Mintel’s “Soup — US, June 2016” report.1 In the last five years, RTS soup and condensed soup have lost 12 percent and 11 percent of sales, notes Chicago-based Mintel.2

The only exceptions to the rule are wet broth/stock and refrigerated/frozen soup, which have grown 3 percent and 7.1 percent in compound annual growth rate (CAGR), says Mintel, due to consumers cooking at home more frequently.3

In fact, broth and stock sales rose 19 percent between 2011 and 2016 and are forecasted to reach $1.3 billion by 2021, says Mintel’s report.4

Companies like California-based BRU® Broth are rolling out high pressure processed (HPP) bone broths in bottles made with cold-pressed greens and ingredients like turmeric — broth “smoothies” that just need some warming up before sipping at home.5

And “broth bars” are popping up from Portland to New York, selling sippable bone broths made from simmering bones, vegetables and spices.6

“Soups and broths are somewhat on trend with other trends we’re seeing relating to health and personalization. Consumers can control the flavor of their food and what ingredients go into soups and broths for health reasons, which is appealing to millennials and Hispanics —creating a new vessel for fresh foods and meals,” says Darren Seifer, executive director, food and beverage industry analyst, The NPD Group, in the greater New York City area.7

In the past six months, Mintel estimates that forty percent of soup buyers (primarily millennials and more affluent consumers) have bought four or more package types of soup—such as canned soup, boxed soup and broth.8

“Folks who grew up before millennials are more used to processed food; it would be younger adults who are more willing to use stocks as a base for food,” says Seifer.9

Even so, soup manufacturers always have to contend with consumers’ concerns over higher sodium content, notes Mintel, which is even more of an issue with older women.10

Companies looking to address high sodium levels in broths and stocks can look to sodium reduction solutions, such as Cargill’s SaltWise® sodium reduction system. SaltWise® System can reduce sodium in a variety of food applications by up to 50 percent.11 Read how this product was used to reduce sodium levels in several products, including chicken broth here.12

For broths and stocks to keep growing, manufacturers will need to better educate consumers on how to use their broth/stocks in a variety of recipes through social media and on product packaging, according to Mintel.13

Brands can also offer more organic and natural broths, which align with current “free-from” trends, notes Mintel.14

“Manufacturers have an opportunity to tie into the health trends we’re seeing and educate consumers on how easy it is to use broths and stocks, such as with slow cookers which 80 percent of households have,” says Seifer.15

Healthful broths may be the best medicine for revitalizing the soup category.

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Sources

[1] Mintel. “Soup — US” June 2016, Executive Summary.

[2] Mintel. “Soup — US” June 2016, Market Breakdown.

[3] Mintel. “Soup — US” June 2016, Market Breakdown.

[4] Mintel. “Soup — US” June 2016, Market Breakdown.

[5] foodnavigator-usa.com. “BRU Broth CEO: Bone broth is poised for significant growth in 2016.”

[6] Food Processing. “Flavor Trends: Soups Ladle Up the Flavor.”

[7] Seifer, Darren. 10 November 2016. Phone interview.

[8] Mintel. “Soup — US” June 2016, Executive Summary.

[9] Seifer, Darren. 10 November 2016. Phone interview.

[10] Mintel. “Soup — US” June 2016, Executive Summary.

[11] Cargill, Incorporated. “Sodium Reduction Solutions. SaltWise® Sodium Reduction System.” Accessed on 16 Nov. 2016. Retrieved from http://www.cargill.com/salt/products/food-manufacturing/sodium-reduction-solutions/saltwise-sodium-reduction-system/index.jsp

[12] Cargill Salt InPerspective, “SaltWise™ Brand Ingredient Innovation: Soups & Sauces.” Retrieved from https://cargillsaltinperspective.com/saltwise-brand-ingredient-innovation-flavor-functionality-flexibility/

[13] Mintel. “Soup — US” June 2016, Market Breakdown.

[14] Mintel. “Soup — US” June 2016, Market Breakdown.

[15] Seifer, Darren. 10 November 2016. Phone interview.