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When developing products, Gurnee, Ill.-based Frontier Soups, a maker of all-natural soup mixes, balances the competing needs of consumers with creative aplomb.
Take the case of the company’s latest offerings. “Frontier Soups' two newest soups, which were introduced at the Summer Fancy Food Show, shine a light on a dichotomy within the soup category,” says founder Trisha Anderson. “Consumers definitely are seeking out exotic flavor profiles in cuisines from other cultures. To satisfy that desire for more culinary adventure, we introduced Pacific Rim Gingered Carrot Soup Mix with Thai and Indian influences. On the other hand, consumers crave comfort food classics, so our other newest mix is Kentucky Homestead Chicken and Rice Soup.”
This delicate balancing act also involves convenience, authentic taste and healthy attributes. “In the case of the gingered carrot soup, coconut milk not only adds a Thai influence, but is an ingredient consumers are seeking,” explains Anderson. “With the chicken and rice soup, consumers are looking to add more beans as a great source of nutrients, soluble fiber and plant-based protein, so we have added quick-cooking baby garbanzo beans to the mix.”
As further evidence of the company’s creativity, when it comes to marketing its soups, Frontier takes an out-of-the-box approach. “One of our best retail strategies actually doesn’t take place in stores at all,” says Anderson. “For many years, we have gone on the road to holiday marts every fall in areas where we have a strong retail presence. We have a chance to interact with consumers who are sampling our soups and get on-the-spot feedback from them for some informal, anecdotal market research. Our display always includes signage that tells consumers what retailers carry our soups locally, which is great promotion.”