A raft of new premium soup lines are set to hit supermarket shelves as manufacturers and retailers gear up for the key winter season.
Waitrose will be up against speciality producers such as Symingtons and the Southover Food Company as competition hots up in the premium sector.
The retailer has introduced a 10-strong range of fresh soups under its own label banner . Available now, the soups come in a variety of exotic flavours, which take inspiration from all over the world, such as Moroccan chicken and a green Thai chicken curry variant.
The range has six vegetarian options, including four organic varieties . It is free from artificial colours, flavours and thickeners. Prices range from £1.99 to £2.49 for a pot serving two.
Waitrose said the products provided at least one of the recommended 5-a-day portions of fruit and veg and that it was positioning the range as the "ultimate in fast food".
Symington's has added a range of organic cup soups to its portfolio, which it hopes will help organic soups achieve more of a mainstream following.
Available in four flavours - tomato, mushroom, vegetable and chicken & vegetable - Symington's Organic Soup in a Cup , which is being rolled into the major multiples now, is made with fully certified organic ingredients and is free from artificial ingredients.
"The organic market is extremely buoyant and is continuing a strong growth pattern," said marketing director Henrik Pade. "This new range will help retailers provide additional choice to consumers who are looking for a fast and simple organic snack, but don't want to compromise on taste or quality."
Southover Food Company has added to its existing Primal brand. Country vegetable, Devonshire crab with red pepper, Moroccan beef stew, Spanish chorizo & chicken and lamb & mint hot pot are being rolled out to the trade now.