Soup Market in India : Facts, Trends and Opportunities

According to various estimates, soup market in India was in the range of INR 100-125 crores (USD 22 mn – 27 mn) in 2010. This segment of packaged food has been relatively under penetrated in India but with urbanization and rise in organized retail, rise in income and changing lifestyles, the segment has experienced growth rates of more than 20% year on year in last 5 years.

Key characteristics of Indian soup market are :

  1. Dehydrated soups dominate the market. It is followed by canned soups which are way behind at second place. Market for instant and frozen soups is nil.
  2. In terms of flavors, the choice of consumers has not changed significantly in last few years. The top three flavors are:

    • Tomato (leader position)
    • Sweet corn
    • Vegetable
    • In non-vegetarian flavors, chicken soup is most popular.
  3. Supply mediums – small retailers / mom-n-pop stores dominate the distribution of soups in India. This is primarily because organized retails is in nascent stage and have low penetration in rural and tier III and lower. It is expected that share of organized retail is expected to increase in future.

Key market players:
Indian soup market is dominated by a few players. The market is consolidated and top three players account for more than 90% of the market by value and volume. The key players are:

  1. Hindustan Uniliver – The company sell soups under Knorr brand and have the largest market share.
  2. Nestle India – Nestle is another prominent player in the market with its brand name Maggi
  3. Capital Foods Ltd. – Relatively small and new player (launched in 2008) as compared to top two the company has been gaining market share in last few years. It sells its products under Ching’s Secret brand name

Major soups brands:

  1. Knorr (Hindustan Uniliver)
  2. Maggi (Nestle)
  3. Ching’s secret (Capital Foods)
  4. Sil (Scandin Food)
  5. Bambino (Bambino Agro)
  6. Campbell’s (Weikfield Products)

Soup Market in India: Opportunities
Indian market presents significant opportunities for soups primarily driven by increasing urbanization, rising income and heavy marketing by the players to make soups part of Indian diet. The penetration is significantly low as compared to western countries. The rise of new players such as Capital Foods indicate that as the market increases, there will be scope for new players with innovative products and correct pricing will be able to gain market share. Introducing healthy soups is one such innovation which is gaining market traction.