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1.1 Presentation and definition of the market

Soup is a  liquid dish, usually based on cooked vegetables and can be served cold or hot.

Generally, a soup is made up of cooked vegetables and legumes such as beans or lentils, but these ingredients are sometimes combined with animal proteins (meat, fish, milk, eggs, cheese), fats (bacon, butter, oils, cream) and, more rarely, fruits.

Different types of soup can be distinguished (non-exhaustive list):

  • Vegetable soups (fresh, brick, instant, dehydrated) ;
  • Cold soups (gazpacho) ;
  • Fish soups (bisque).

A standard of practice exists for vegetable soups in order to provide consumers with a guarantee of quality: in order to benefit from the name "soup", a product must contain at least 40% vegetables. In the opposite case, the product will be considered as a vegetable juice.

This study will focus on vegetable soups, the most important market segment in France and Europe.

1.2 The European market for industrial soups

As the products grouped in the soup category vary widely around the world, only the European market will be presented here, as the global market is not relevant enough, as the ingredients are too different.

For example, the Asian soup market is large, but it is driven almost exclusively by noodle ...

1.3 The French market is losing momentum

An estimate of the size of the French market can be obtained from domestic consumption. Here, it is considered that domestic consumption can be estimated by the following formula: domestic production + imports - exports. This gives us that the French soup market size was around $*** million in ****.

The growth dynamic of ...


2.1 Domestic demand for industrial soups has been declining in recent years

Number of soup consumers France, ****-****, millions Source: ****

Over the period observed, i.e. ****-****, the consumption of industrial soups by the French is in permanent decline. Around ** million French people consumed soups in ****, i.e. almost * in * French people, compared to just over ** million in ****.

Demand therefore evolved with a ...

2.2 Other explanations for the decline in demand

The demographic factor:

The new generations are showing a decreasing interest in soups. They are therefore less inclined to buy industrial soups. There are several reasons to understand this phenomenon. The younger generations no longer perceive soups as a "real" meal, and thus tend to exclude them more or less unconsciously ...

2.3 Soup, a product whose demand remains seasonal

Traditionally classified as a winter "must-have", soup is nowadays mostly seen as a winter ally against the cold. The annual peak in demand is thus logically observed between the beginning of October and the end of February.

The market for industrial soups is therefore strongly linked to the weather: a very ...

2.4 La soupe, un produit dont la demande demeure saisonnière

Traditionnellement classée comme un « incontournable » de l'hiver, la soupe reste aujourd’hui majoritairement vue comme un allié de l’hiver contre le froid. Le pic de demande annuel est ainsi logiquement observé entre le début de mois d’octobre et la fin du mois de février.

Le marché ...

2.5 Le bio comme avenir du marché de la soupe ?

Il semblerait que les soupes bio aient le vent en poupe ces dernières années selon LSA. Ce sous-segment de marché représenterait ** des *** millions du marché de la soupe en France. 

Part du bio dans le marché des soupes France, ****, millions d'euros Source: ****

Parmi ce sous-segment, Liebig se positionne ...


3.1 Competitive market structure

This section considers the data provided by INSEE and ACOSS under NAF code **.**Z "Manufacture of other food products n.e.c.", a category in which soups account for the bulk of production.

Number of companies producing soups France, ****-****, total Source: ****

The number of companies operating in the industrial soups ...

3.2 Modification de la structure de marché

En ****, le groupe espagnol GB Foods a repris son concurrent européen Continental Foods connu pour ses marques de soupes Royco et Liebig.

Le fonds d'investissement CVC Capital Partners, propriétaire de Continental Foods a vendu son activité à GB Foods, qui fait partie du groupe familial catalan Agrolimen de Barcelone pour ...


4.1 Type of products

Industrial vegetable soups are sold in three possible forms [***]:

Fresh soups : industrial product the closest to the home-made product, these soups are also the most expensive because of their short shelf life and their fresh vegetable content; Soups in bricks : sterilized at high temperature, they remain a relatively qualitative product in ...

4.2 The innovative industrial soup offer

In order to revive French consumption of industrial soups, the producing brands had taken the side to diversify their offer. The aim is to offer a wide choice of selection to consumers and thus try to attract and retain a large panel of occasional consumers [***].

In fact, according to a survey ...

4.3 A gradual return to "classic" recipes

In recent years, however, there has been a decline in consumption of these ranges, due to consumers once again prioritizing the naturalness of products. This shift away from exoticism has seen brands such as Knorr and La Potagère choose new positioning [***]. Knorr is the French leader in the organic segment ...

4.4 The evolution of the price of soups

According to the INSEE, the price trends for products such as soups are generally on the rise in recent years. Since December ****, the prices of food products sold outside the fresh section (***) have seen a significant increase in supermarkets and hypermarkets. Indeed, prices have increased by *.*% between December **** and December ****. However, ...

4.5 L'aspect santé

Selon une enquête réalisée par ** millions de consommateurs en ****, les soupes industrielles ont-elles des vertus nutritionnelles intéressantes ? "D’après les résultats de notre test, rien n’est moins sûr" estime l’association. Et ce malgré les efforts des industriels pour réduire la teneur ...


5.1 Regulatory framework

According to BusinessWire, the canned soups often contain a lot of preservatives that are not good for your health. Another negative factor is inability to control fat intake in canned soups.

In The Huffington Post's view, the aromatic powders and additives (***) are added to soup recipes at the factory to give ...


6.1 Market segmentation

  • GB Food
  • Unilever
  • PepsiCo
  • Soup'Ideale
  • Carrefour
  • Picard

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The soup market - France

Publicado en 24/11/2021 by Florent Canonne

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