“Drinkable soup is totally an emerging category, but this is the first show where now people are saying to me every hour, ‘Oh, drinkable soups,’ like that is totally a thing that everyone is talking about and has heard of,” Jen Berliner, vice president of marketing for ZÜPA NOMA, told FoodNavigator-USA at the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City.
She said much of the earlier category growth is coming from juicers who have clued into how much sugar is in a bottle of juice and how just because something is green doesn’t mean it is actually healthy. Comparatively, ZÜPA NOMA soups are made with whole vegetables – peels, seeds and all – so they are packed with fiber and low in sugar, Berliner said.
As consumer recognition of the category starts to take hold, Berliner says many players in the space are happy to work together to grow the category, educate consumers and carve out a space at retail, but at the same time each company, including ZÜPA NOMA, is fine-tuning what sets it apart from the pack.
Whole30 certification featured front and center
For ZÜPA NOMA, a major component that makes it unique is that its entire line is Whole30 certified – a hard to secure call out that is now prominently featured on the front label of the recently redesigned bottles that will become available online at drinkzupa.com on July 6 and in stores shortly after.
“The Whole30 denotes for consumers that there is really nothing but organic vegetables, a little bit of healthy fats and some superfoods and seasonings,” and tells them quickly that the soups are “incredibly clean,” Berliner said.
She added that some other products may have soy sauce or soy-based miso, which some consumers do not like, or use broth or juice to dilute the vegetables and create a more complicated ingredient deck.
“Whether it is paleo or vegan or gluten free, we check all the boxes and still taste great – and so it is really relevant across the board, whereas some brands in the category are a little more specific or trying to speak to one narrow subset,” she said.
In addition to prominently featuring the Whole30 logo on the new label, the redesign allowed the brand to move up its USDA organic certification seal so that it is more easily spotted by consumers who are in a hurry but are looking for something clean and healthy, Berliner said.
Other changes in the brand refresh include adding a black background on the bottom of the label that makes it easier for consumers to read the flavors and create a more defined brand block on retail shelves.
The company also changed the statement of identity to say superfood soup instead of ready to sip, cold vegetable soup, which consumers said was a mouthful and less direct, Berliner said.
Remaining identifiable is key in a refresh
With all the changes, ZÜPA NOMA was careful to make its new packaging easily recognizable compared to its original design so as not to lose any hard earned fans, Berliner said.
“It is not an incredibly dramatic departure from the old packaging. We want consumers to still be able to find the logo and the iconic veggies that they associate with the brand,” she explained.
Beyond the new packaging, the brand has several other changes in store for the near future, including seasonal innovation and new packaging formats, she said, adding, “We are really excited about the upcoming year!”