The concept of clean label foods is now an integral part of the food industry and has been driven by customers' want for natural products made with ingredients that they can understand and recognize. This is certainly one of the biggest trends in the food industry and will be one of the main topics of this year's most important fair about food ingredients that will be held in Frankfurt. This trend has taken center stage and will only continue to grow in importance in the future.
Kerry Foods, a major food ingredients producer, just released the results of a survey carried out over the past year with regards to customers' understanding of clean label and how specific claims, ingredients and packaging influence their purchase decision. The survey showed that "82% of consumer believed that Clean Label is important and almost as many are willing to pay more for healthier, cleaner products" (Kerry Foods, 2017). Foodservice follows the same trend with "45% of operators willing to pay a premium price for Clean Label products" (Kerry Foods, 2017).
More specifically on the soup and broth segment, the report highlights the fact that MSG (monosodium glutamate) is clearly an undesirable ingredient in savory snacks and this opinion is carried across age segments with over 50% of 18-44 year olds feeling this way and over 60% for 45 year olds and over (>72% of 65+ year olds). As you probably know, MSG is often used in products to enhance the umami flavour and, in soup or broth products, this is meant, at least in part, to replace natural ingredients such as stock or broth cooked from animal bones. This being said, MSG cannot replicate the texture that is provided by natural stock.
Transparency Market Research has also looked into the Organic Soups market and has estimated that it is currently worth USD1,8 billion in 2017 and is projected to reach almost USD 2,5 billion by 2022. This makes for a CAGR of 5.7% over the next 5 years.
Companies are also responding to this trend and we have seen some rather significant moves performed by large companies to get traction in the natural and organic segment. For example, Campbell's Ltd acquired Pacific Foods over the summer in a deal worth USD 700 million. Campbell's mentioned itself that this acquisition was in response to the consumers needs, seeing that the natural and organic segments are experiencing the fastest growth across all food segments.
In the food production and ingredients industry, Givaudan (a major ingredients producer) acquired Vika (natural ingredients producer including natural stock) again signalling the importance of natural ingredients for the foodservice but also the ready meals industry which is growing at a very fast rate across the globe.
The market is craving for meals that provide clean natural taste and texture. The soup segment has been stagnating for the past few years and is ready for a fresh injection of innovation. With customers wanting more clean-label products with great taste, soup produced with honest natural stock worthy of Michelin-star restaurants can truly open up a new clean-label segment for ready-to-eat soup.
Coctio can provide you with the right soup cooking solution to launch you into the natural broth and soup market. Have a look at our Natural Soup Cooker Turnkey Solution.