Aseptic on rise in the soup aisle
Aseptic soups are the fastest-growing category of soups by package type, growing 26% during 2007, according to statistics from Nielsen. Soups in cartons, like Campbell’s V8, constituted 8.2% of all soup sold in mainstream retail outlets during 2007. Many of them are in unique flavors like golden butternut squash or chipotle-flecked corn bisque. Aseptic packaging exposes the product to more intense heat than canning, but for a much shorter duration, which means less impact on flavor. And the requirement that aseptically packaged food have particulates no more than a quarter-inch has led to the development of puree-based soups, which consumers perceive as more gourmet or exotic.