Urbanization, rise of modern trade, increasing income, changing lifestyles and aggressive marketing campaign of multinational players will drive the growth in instant soup market.
Instant soup is a type of soup designed for fast and simple preparation. Packaged soups are mass-produced on an industrial scale and treated in various ways to preserve them. A wide variety of types, styles and flavors of instant soups exist. Commercial instant soups are usually dried or dehydrated, canned, or treated by freezing. These do not contain water and are prepared by adding water and then heating the product for a short time, or by adding hot water directly to the dry soup mix.
According to recently published report of Stats and Reports “India Instant Noodles, Pasta & Soup Market Overview”, sales of instant soup in India have witnessed a dramatic increase in the last five years. The category is relatively under penetrated in the country but with urbanization, rise in organized retail, increasing income and changing lifestyles, it has experienced a robust growth. This growth is largely fueled by consumer’s demand for at home snack options and an aggressive marketing campaign undertaken by the leading players in the market, especially HUL and Capital Foods for their brands Knorr and Ching’s Secret respectively.
Market is clearly dominated by Knorr which controls majority share of the market. Knorr has positioned itself on the health and wellness platform and the assurance of quality it gives, convinces buyers to pick up the product. Nestle and Ching’s secrets are the other leading players in the market jostling for the second position. With a strong loyal customer base, large distribution network, and strong brand equity Nestle is strongly competing with Ching’s secrets a home grown brand popular for its Chinese flavors. Further retailers like Aditya Birla’s More and Future Groups’ Big Bazar will heat up the competition in forecast period by promoting their own brands. Players are giving perfect options for the harried home-maker or working woman, both hard-pressed for time, who, at the same time, do not wish to compromise on the health of their families despite their hectic schedules. The success of branded instant soup as a category is partly linked to the rise of modern trade, which will remain the key channel of distribution in the forecast period. Modern trade is where most branded soup consumers gather, especially urban middle-class households who, at most times, are juggling multiple tasks.
Soups are emerging as a viable option for these busy urban consumers, which is why the category growth rate has been steadily moving up. Manufacturers such as Capital Foods and HUL are also attempting to increase the consumption of packaged soups in the country. The rise of new players such as Capital Foods indicate that as the market increases, there will be huge scope for new players with innovative products and correct pricing will be able to gain them considerable market share. Introducing healthy soups is one such innovation which will gain market traction in the forecast period.
Major companies operating in the instant noodles, pasta and soup market of India are Nestle India Pvt. Ltd., Hindustan Unilever Limited, Bambino Agro Industries Ltd., ITC Limited and CG Foods India Private Limited.