In the soup

New Cully & Sully Hotspots come in 400g packs with a RRP of €3.99
New Cully & Sully Hotspots come in 400g packs with a RRP of €3.99

Interesting trends have emerged in the €53.1 million Irish soup market. Despite ambient soup's mature status, sales through c-stores are still growing.


Brand Central

12 October 2009

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At a glance: SOUPS

  • The soup category in Ireland is valued at €53.1 million
    Knorr is the number one brand in the Irish soup market with overall share of 37.2%
    Knorr is market leader in both packet and instant soup, with market share of 80.4% in the packet sector and 61% in the instant sector
    Knorr Special Recipe soup has 43% of the pouch soup market
    Erin Soup is number two within the total ambient soup sector, with 27% value share
    Avonmore Fresh Soup commands a 61.9% volume share of the total fresh soup category
    Weight Watchers from Heinz is the number one healthy eating soup brand
    Cully & Sully has introduced a new Hotpots concept in four flavours

The total Irish ambient soup category is worth €35.4 million and declining by 3%, according to recent data from Unilever’s Partners for Growth initiative. The industry group says however, that total soup sales through symbol stores reached €9.25 million and actually grew by 10.3%, which it believes clearly indicates the great opportunity in the ambient soup category for convenience retailers.

Within ambient, packet soup remains the largest segment, with 43% value market share, followed by instant (29%), pouch (16%) and canned (12%) respectively. Knorr Soup is the market leader with 64% share of total ambient soup, followed by Erin Soup which has 27% value share.

In fresh soup meanwhile, Avonmore Fresh Soup is market leader and commands a 61.9% volume share of the total category (MAT August 2009). The brand is also a member of the newly launched national food campaign Love Irish Food.

Research by Sparkqaul (2008) shows Irish shoppers are brand loyal within the soup category and will leave the store if their favourite brand is not stocked. Secondary sitings and adjacencies have also proven crucial to driving soup sales. Partners for Growth recommends locating soup in the ambient fixture close to stocks and sauces. Furthermore, work carried out by Unilever Ireland has shown that placing an extra soup siting close to the bread fixture can lead to an incremental soup purchase increase of up to 30%. (Unilever/Superquinn 2008).

The introduction of more filling ‘meal’ soups has also created growth in recent years, and the award-winning Cully & Sully is set to capitalise on this trend through the introduction of its new Hotpot concept. With social and home entertaining growing by 14% last year, according to TNS Worldpanel data, Unilever believes an opportunity also exists to use soup as part of a food meal deal.

Its online advice, available at, offers tips on how to achieve maximum sales. To encourage trade-ups, the multinational manufacturer states that by placing the larger variant of a product to the right of the smaller variant, retailers will increase purchases of the larger pack size due to the fact that the majority of shoppers are right-handed.

Hotpots hit the spot

Award-winning soup and pie-maker, Cully & Sully has now introduced Hotpots, a completely new concept in the Irish market. Hotspots are both tasty and filling and naturally use all Irish protein and dairy, with vegetable origins varying according to seasonality.

The new format is designed to be reheated in a microwave and eaten out of the pot, offering a new on-the-go solution for the convenience market. Each Hotpot takes only four and a half minutes to heat in the microwave, or alternatively consumers can heat the meals in a saucepan.

Hotspots come in 400g packs at RRP €3.99 and are available in Irish Stew, gluten-free Chicken Curry, Beef Stew and Chicken Casserole varieties.

Soup Knorr-how

With an overall share of 37.2%, Knorr is the number one brand in the Irish soup market. Its portfolio extends across packet, instant and wet ambient soup segments, and it is market leader in both packet and instant soup, with 80.4% share and 61% share respectively.

Knorr Special Recipe soup has 43% of the pouch sector and is driving innovation in the category this autumn with the launch of an organic pouch soup range. (Source: AC Nielsen Extended Scantrack – MAT to 9 August 2009). The organic soup range will include three varieties: Creamy Tomato, Creamy Mushroom and Vegetable.

Building on a successful year to-date despite the economic climate, Knorr is launching a new €1 million above-the-line (ATL) campaign in October. It includes two new television commercials, press, PR and a new website, all designed to encourage consumers to enjoy more meals together more often and to try Knorr Packet Soup as an ingredient in everyday meals.

Avon-moreish proposition

Avonmore Fresh Soup is gearing up for the key soup occasion, the winter months, with its range of favourite wholesome, warming and tasty soups in a convenient, microwaveable format. Whether for an after school snack, a light lunch or pre-dinner course, Avonmore Fresh Soup is an ideal solution for all the family. Providing Irish consumers with the taste of homemade without any of the hassle, it is available in eight recipes and in three different pack sizes. Avonmore Fresh Soup also has a dedicated low fat offering for the health conscious consumer.

A true Irish brand, Avonmore Fresh Soup range is made in the heart of county Kilkenny. Launched in 1991, it is the original fresh soup in Ireland and in August became a member of the new independent food organisation, Love Irish Food. The organisation was established to promote Irish manufactured food and drink brands to consumers in an effort to safeguard the future of Ireland’s largest indigenous industry. The Love Irish Food logo will appear on Avonmore Fresh Soup packs over the coming weeks and months, highlighting the home-grown credentials of the favourite Irish product.

Avonmore Fresh Soup has a 61.9% volume share of the total fresh soup category (MAT August 2009). It offers quality ingredients and great taste with an Irish stamp of approval. The brand has successfully driven the category and will continue to do so in the future through strong product innovation to meet Irish consumers’ needs.

Heinz’s Classics soups, such as Cream of Tomato, remain a firm favourite with Irish consumers

Heinz’s Classics soups, such as Cream of Tomato, remain a firm favourite with Irish consumers

Souped up

The Heinz and Weight Watchers from Heinz soup ranges have proven to be long-time favourites with Irish consumers. According to the iconic brand, it remains relevant to consumers though continual investment in its soup portfolio, driving incremental sales and satisfying consumer tastes and needs such as eating on the go, health and pleasure.

The Heinz Classics range remains a family favourite in Ireland, including recipes such as Cream of Tomato and Cream of Chicken. Heinz Farmers Market, in a larger 515g can, offers a range of varieties including Chicken & Country Vegetable and Plum Tomato & Basil. Each variety in the premium quality range is made with selected ingredients and inspired by farmers’ markets. And Heinz Big Soup is a range of hearty, chunky soups ideal for a sustaining lunch or for a light dinner, offering an extensive range of traditional varieties including Chicken & Vegetable and Beef and Vegetable.

Heinz remains responsive to consumer demands for healthy and convenient products that do not compromise on taste. Weight Watchers from Heinz, the number one healthy eating soup brand, continues to offer popular options such as Chicken Noodle, and new varieties including Tuscan Minestrone and Tomato & Basil. All Weight Watchers from Heinz varieties exclusively carry the Weight Watchers Points Value on pack.

Hot news

Whether as a lunch option, starter or comforting evening snack, Irish consumers recognise soup as a tasty and nutritious meal solution, and Kerryfresh says its range of natural fresh soups, created by professional chefs, are on point to meet consumers’ needs this winter.

From cream soups such as its Vegetable and Chicken & Chive to nutritious and healthy soups such as Tomato & Basil and Beef & Vegetable, Kerryfresh has a soup to suit all tastes. Conveniently packed in 5L re-sealable containers, its products are ideal for operators that want to rotate their soups on a daily basis.

In preparation for cold winter days ahead, Kerryfresh has also launched the latest addition to its wholesome range of fresh soups, Beef & Vegetable. A hearty soup with large chunks of fresh vegetables and Irish beef in a tasty beef stock, it is a warming and nutritious meal in itself.

The company also supplies 12oz soup cups, soup kettles and merchandising kits, which it claims will drive traffic to stores’ soup and increase consumption of this highly profitable menu option. Eye-catching point of sale, designed to inform and tempt consumers, is also available.

For more information, speak to a Kerryfresh local area business developer or visit



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