China’s soups sector to reach US$127.6m in 2025, forecasts GlobalData

Driven by the rising demand for the convenient ‘ready-to-eat’ food products, the Chinese soups sector is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.0% from C¥670.8m (US$98.4m) in 2020 to C¥857.9m (US$127.6m) in 2025, says GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company.

GlobalData’s report, ‘China Soups – Market Assessment and Forecasts to 2025’, reveals that the sector is majorly driven by growth in the ultra-high temperature (UHT) soup category, which is forecast to register the fastest value CAGR of 7.4% during 2020-2025. The category will be followed by frozen soup, which is expected to record a CAGR of 6.0% during the same period.

Anjali Singh, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, says: “With the rising disposable incomes, growing middle class and changing consumer preferences, the demand for convenient food such as ‘ready-to-eat’ soups is on the rise. As consumers lead busy and hectic lifestyles, they are increasingly opting for products which are quick and easy to consume and travel-friendly.”

‘Hypermarkets & supermarkets’ was the leading distribution channel in the Chinese soups sector in 2020, followed by convenience stores and e-retailers.

The per capita expenditure for soups in China increased from US$0.05 in 2015 to US$0.07 in 2020 and is further expected to grow to US$0.09 in 2025. However, it is way lower than the per capita expenditure for soups, both at the global (US$2.8) and the APAC region (US$0.9) levels implying a huge growth potential for the category in China.

​In terms of the leading players, Unilever, Nestlé SA and McCormick were the top three companies in the Chinese soups sector by volumes while Knorr and Maggi were the leading brands in the sector by value terms in 2020.

Ms Singh concludes: “The trend for health and wellness is gaining pace among the Chinese consumers and manufactures are focusing on providing healthier soup products which are more nutritious, delicious and convenient to consume. With the rising disposable incomes, consumers are expected to spend more on premium, healthy and tasty products.”

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