Snacking is one of the major consumer trends shaping the development of the European food and drink industry. Today’s fast-paced, convenience-oriented consumers increasingly demand meals that fit their busy lifestyles, showing remarkable flexibility when it comes to timing, place and format.

Over half of German adults eat lunch, breakfast or dinner on-the-go

According to Mintel research, more than half of German adults claim that they eat lunch, breakfast or dinner on-the-go, showing that on-the-go consumption is already commonplace in Germany.

While some foods are naturally adaptable to snacking formats, changing eating habits are having a significant impact on categories which are traditionally more skewed towards home consumption, such as soup. The German soup category is already in a good position to benefit from the accelerating health and wellness trend, but there is still untapped potential for soup makers to capitalise on more convenient and easy-to-consume formats.

Tapping into on-the-go consumption

Young German consumers, especially, represent a potential opportunity for on-the-go soup offerings, as they are the most interested in having healthy, convenient and portable food options.

Positioned as a refreshing on-the-go snack, ‘drinkable’ cold soup formats could open new growth avenues for wet soup brands by targeting the Millennial generation. Following in the footsteps of on-the-go soup pioneers such as Tio Gazpacho in the US or Soupology’s RAW Soups in the UK, the first ‘drinkable’ soup concepts have now emerged in the German market.

Spinach, Mango, Lime & Baobab Ready to Eat Chilled Soup       Organic Gazpacho de Sol Chilled Vegetable Soup    Flowery Blueberry    Gazpacho Galore

A Berlin-based organic soup and stew producer WDM Bio-Fertigprodukte GmbH has recently launched a line of drinkable shelf-stable soups under the brand ‘Essen zum Trinken Soupiez Z’. With its tagline ‘Essen zum Trinken’ (‘Food to drink’), the company is shining a spotlight on the ‘drinkability’ of its offering. The range comes in two inventive flavours – ‘Salty Gazpacho Galore’ (tomatoes, red and green peppers and cucumber) and ‘Sweet Flowery Blueberry’ (blueberries, elderberries and ginger). With the addition of a ‘sweet’ soup flavour, this shelf-stable range not only taps into the superfood trend, but also lends itself to multiple snacking occasions, as an alternative to sugary snacks.

With increasingly hectic and on-the-go lifestyles, the demand for convenient and portable meal options will continue to rise, presenting new opportunities for soup to widen its appeal beyond home consumption. In addition to packaging that conveys convenience and portability, wet soup brands could benefit from experimenting with novel flavours and functional ingredients, as these attributes hold strong appeal for Millennial consumers who are seeking not only convenient, but also health-boosting meal options. Even though the first ‘drinkable’ soup market entrants appeared in shelf-stable formats in Germany, this concept lends itself very well to the chilled format, blurring the boundaries between the chilled soup, juice and smoothies categories.

Katya Witham is Senior Food and Drink Analyst at Mintel with a dedicated field of focus on Germany. Katya draws on her comprehensive knowledge of the market to identify and explore the major trends across various FMCG categories, providing the insights needed to successfully navigate the German market.

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