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Soup Concentrate Powder

An Introduction
The market for instant soup is steadily growing, specially among urban consumers. To begin with if we stroll down the aisles of a supermarket. On the shelves, in neatly stacked bright packets, there is a wide array of ready-to-eat soups. The brand names such as MTR, Knorr, Maggi dance before our eyes.

Consumer Preference
Snacking and convenience have been key drivers of the soup sector, more so in the major European countries. Less formal eating occasions, the growth of the light lunch and grazing have all influenced new product developments (NPDs). Soups in plastic bottles, for example, allow users to help themselves to soups as they feel like it. Once opened, the remaining contents of these bottles last up to 5 days in the fridge. Microwaveable products also offer convenience. Over half the adults interviewed in the course of the exclusive consumer research commissioned for this report agreed soup is a good snack.


The retail market for soups grew significantly at current prices between 1995 and 2000, with most of this growth due to fresh chilled soups. Retailers have also been quick to capitalize on the higher margins attracted by chilled soups. Suppliers of wet ambient soups have sought to communicate the quality proposition of fresh chilled soups with the launch of ambient soups in foil pouches, a style associated with freshness.

Home-made soups are an important factor in the soups market with trade estimates suggesting that as much as a third of overall soup consumed by households is accounted for by home-made soup. The consumer research undertaken for this report shows 30 percent of adults make their own soups during the year and 19 percent mostly consumed home-made instead of bought soups, with this latter figure being as high as 40 percent amongst those living in Scotland. This section renders a huge market for soup concentrate/mixes.

Introducing new flavors into the market has been another way in which suppliers have sought to create further sales growth. They have tried to de-seasonalise the market (almost two-thirds of sales occur between September and March) by encouraging the idea of soup as a summer product, with flavours designed to be served as chilled, such as gazpacho. The consumer research conducted shows that a few traditional recipes, such as tomato, chicken, mushroom and vegetable, are the favorites and main flavors sold. Organic soup launches have become more common.

The seasonal nature of the soup market is reinforced by many consumers stocking soups, particularly soup concentrate/powder products, for a ‘rainy day’. This shows the flexibility and convenience of soups, as does being able to use bought soups as a cooking ingredient at home.
 

What is a Soup?
Soup is a savory liquid food that is made by boiling ingredients, such as meat, vegetables and beans in stock or hot water, until the flavor is extracted, forming a broth.  Boiling was not a common cooking technique until the invention of waterproof containers about 5,000 years ago.

Traditionally, soup is classified into two broad groups: clear soups and thick soups.  The established French classifications of clear soups are bouillon and consommé. Thick soups are classified depending upon the type of thickening agent used: purées, which are vegetable soups thickened with starch; bisques are made from puréed shellfish thickened with cream; cream soups are thickened with béchamel sauce; and veloutés are thickened with eggs, butter and cream. Other ingredients to thicken soups and broths include rice, flour, and grains.

 

Origin/Background of Soup Concentrate/Powder
Soup Concentrate/Powder as we know or understand today originated in the form of condensed soup - a canned variety of soup prepared with a reduced proportion of water. The consumer was required to add water or milk and the mixture is heated. Condensed soup was developed by John T. Dorrance, an employee of the Campbell's Soup Company, in 1899.


Nutrition and Health Benefits
There are many important health and nutritional reasons to reach for a bowl of delicious soup - they provide vitamins, antioxidants and some varieties can help add fibre to the diet too. Plus many soups are packed with vegetables helping you reach your daily goal of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables.

 

Soups come in so many varieties that the actual nutrient composition differs depending on the ingredients used, but here are some examples of the goodness that soups can provide:

  • Tomato soup is a good source of vitamin A, Bs, C and the powerful antioxidant called lycopene
  • Pumpkin soup is also packed with potassium and Vitamin A
  • Sweetcorn & Potato soup is a great fibre boost
  • Minestrone soups can contain as many as 8-10 different vegetables.
Soups are also a great way to increase fluid intakes over the colder winter months when it is less appealing to drink cold water.

The great news is soup is not only a good way to boost your intake of nutrients but it fits perfectly within a healthy balanced diet too. A bowl or mug of soup with a couple of slices of wholegrain toast is meal generally low in fat. More and more it is becoming important to lower energy and fat intakes to help lessen the risk of becoming overweight or obese.
 
Fun Trivia
Soup is regarded as soothing and satisfying foods that provide a source of emotional balance during times of stress and turmoil. According to a study by the University of Illinois, personality of a person can be determined by his soup preferences. The study was based on  the four most popular soups -- chicken noodle, tomato, minestrone and vegetable -- were cross-tabulated with personality and lifestyle traits to create the following 'soup personality types'.
  • If you have a hankering for chicken noodle soup, you scored high on the church-going scale, are fond of pets, are more likely to be stubborn and less likely to be outdoorsy.
  • If minestrone filled your mug, you were more likely to be physically fit, nutritionally conscious, family spirited, unlikely to own a pet and also on a restricted diet.
  • A vegetable soup aficionado was a homebody at heart, less likely to be a world traveler, less likely to be spontaneous and more likely to read family and home magazines.
  • Tomato soup lovers, by contrast, could stomach more adventure, were more likely to be social and also tended to enjoy books and pets.
 
Most Relished Flavors
Popular tastes in Soups that are  available in dry mix form, ready to be served by adding hot water, are as follows:-
  • Tomato Soups
  • Cream of Mushroom Soups
  • Chicken Noodle Soups
  • Vegetable Soups
  • Chicken Base Soups
  • Potato Soups
  • Pasta Soups
  • Cheese Soups
  • Oriental-style soup mixes containing ramen noodles are marketed as an inexpensive instant lunch
 
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