The move will put it head-to-head for the first time with New Covent Garden Soup, which is the leading chilled brand in the category and the second biggest soup brand overall behind Heinz Classics (ACNielsen).
Heinz’s new chilled range comprises four varieties - Roast Chicken & Herbs, Carrot & Coriander, Tomato & Red Pepper, and Chunky Vegetable & Rosemary.
They are all packed in 500g transparent pots and will retail at £1.49.
Moving into chilled soups is a natural move for Heinz, which is no doubt attracted by the
sector’s 11.3% growth over the last year [TNS 52 w/e October 10] compared with 2.4% for the whole soup category.
The category is dominated by own label and the New Covent Garden and Baxter brands. According to ACNielsen, sales of New Covent Garden Soup were up 12.9% to £38.6m for the year to October 2. Baxters saw sales of its Fresh Soup soar 63.3% to £5.5m over the same period. Heinz marketing manager Dan Ince said: “Chilled soup is an area we are interested in. We would like to understand the size of the opportunity, which is why we are running a test market with Tesco.”
He added that no timeline had been set for the trial.
Heinz recently relaunched its ambient Classic and Big Soup ranges with lower salt, fat and sugar recipes (The Grocer, August 14, p48) and extended the Soup Cup microwaveable format to its Weight Watchers range.
It has also been increasing its presence within the chilled category with the launch of Salad Shakers, its first chilled ready meals offerings, and a revamp of it sandwich range.
Roche’s indigestion remedy Rennie is continuing its sponsorship of festive TV in a £2m campaign for its Soft Chews. A ‘Christmas never tasted so good’ campaign will break on December 15 for two weeks on ITV. This is the fifth year the brand has sponsored Christmas programming. “People over-indulge at Christmas, making it a key time of the year for Rennie,” said Pam Kemp, Roche OTC category manager.