- General Mills is launching a new vegan-friendly soup line under its Progresso brand, Progresso Good Natured Soups, Food Business News reported.
- The brand employs a variety of bean bases and vegetable purees to mimic the creamy texture dairy-based ingredients often provide, but which vegans do not consume.
- With this new line, Progresso is addressing the increased popularity of plant-based diets and other health-related trends, such as non-GMO and preservative-free products.
General Mills could have simply made meatless soup varieties to appeal to consumers pursuing a more plant-based diet, but the company went one step further to also remove the dairy ingredients that could alienate vegans and consumers with lactose intolerance. This expands the new Progresso line to more health-conscious consumers.
This expansion is a notable move for General Mills, which recently detailed the impending closure of its Progresso production facility in Vineland, NJ. Still, the company has proven it hasn't yet given up on the Progresso brand or packaged soup.
Just last month, General Mills committed its Progresso brand to simpler ingredients. Goals include transitioning to 100% antibiotic-and-hormone-free chicken breast in all 36 of Progresso’s chicken soup varieties and removing artificial colors from 100% of products by 2019. The brand has also worked to reduce salt and introduce more gluten-free and vegetarian varieties.
And the soup category innovations don't end there. Fellow canned soup juggernaut Campbell announced its new Well Yes ready-to-serve soup line in July, and just last week announced another new soup line under its Garden Fresh brand. The newest line of soups are fresh, so Campbell will position them in the produce section of the store rather than the shelf-stable center store aisles.
As more manufacturers pine for shelf space along grocery stores' perimeters, it wouldn't be surprising if Progresso's next innovation was to follow Campbell and introduce its own line of fresh soups.