KANSAS CITY — From broth to ready-to-serve options, consumer packaged goods  companies are preparing for cooler months and introducing new products within the soup category.

Although there has been an overall decline in unit sales within the ready-to-serve soup category, there has been an increase in dollar sales, according to Chicago-based market research company IRI.

“Inflation is impacting soup like other categories in the store with dollars increasing but unit sales declining,” said Sally Lyons Wyatt, executive vice president and practice leader at IRI. “The ready-to-serve wet business is definitely getting hit, and part of the decline is coming from other forms of soup.”  

With consumers turning toward other forms of soup, the ready-to-serve wet soup category saw a 4.3% decrease in unit sales in the 52 weeks ended Sept. 4, in comparison to the dry soup category, which saw an increase of 3.2% in unit sales.

General Mills’ Progresso brand is entering the dry soup category with soup mixes, which may be made in about 20 minutes. The soup mixes are available in five varieties, including chicken noodle, Southwest style tortilla, minestrone, creamy wild rice and creamy corn chowder. For the soups that are typically cream-based, consumers can add either water or milk and then cook, according to the company.

“With inflation, with the economic situation, with the fact that soup is a way to feed a family for a relatively inexpensive cost, soup has the potential to continue to try and lessen declines,” Ms. Lyons Wyatt said. “All those things are great markers for soup to have a good year, but all of those things have to go and work together in order for soup to have a good year.”

Click to view slideshow of new soup innovations.