A regional soup maker is heating up the burgeoning chilled soup market with a range of premium organic products.
Rod & Ben's Seasonal Organic Soups, which go into Selfridges this week, come in a range of six flavours: carrot & coriander, leek & potato; squash & ginger; spicy parsnip; cream of spinach; vegetable medley; and basil broth.
A 350g tub is £2.69, while a 600g tub retails at £3.89. The range has been designed to appeal to health-conscious foodies aged 35-plus and will be going head-to-head with established brands such as New Covent Garden Food Company, Seeds of Change and Simply Organic.
"Our approach is going back to basics," said Rodney Hall, who set up Rod & Ben's Organic Seasonal Foods with college friend, Ben Moseley, in 1998.
"Being organic is not enough to stand out any more, so we aim to work the seasonal element more than rival brands do. On top of this, our range has quirkier, more intense flavours,"
"Covent Garden has begun focusing its big budgets and influence on humbling inferior soups with its headline grabbing 'ban the can' campaign," added Hall.
Rod & Ben's is launching a three-strong range of summer soups at the start of the summer, including beetroot, red pepper & lime and an additional variety.
The Devon-based company, which also produces pestos, relishes and salsa, is also working with Yeo Valley Organic on a range of smoothie-like sweet soups that will be available in May.
It is currently in talks with grocery stores and said it has been welcomed by buyers. A press campaign in various titles breaks at the start the summer.
The total chilled premium soup category leapt 12% to £435m last year, according to Nielsen [52 w/e to December 2006].