Soupman: From Seinfeld to Store Shelves

The Lempert Report
June 26, 2014

Seinfeld made Soupman famous, Tetra Pak keeps Soupman delicious

There's no question that food packaging has evolved in a major way. Let's not forget that in the old days, when needed, containers were fashioned from natural materials, such as hollowed logs, woven grasses and animal organs! In the 1950s companies started added all kinds of preservatives to the foods to help them last longer or keep a certain color.. but todays' shoppers are forcing brands to be better. Why? Because nowadays, people want clean ingredients and healthier foods. So the challenge is, how do you make foods taste great and not require expensive refrigeration or freezing? It’s time for innovation in packaging! At the recent FMI convention we found one brand who embracing just that. Soupman.

INTERVIEW WITH LLOYD SUGARMAN: Before just a few years ago people would wonder, how the heck does this soup get such great press and everyone knows its such a great soup and why can't we even see it or taste it? And the answer is simple, we could not duplicate all the 17 flavors, we couldn't get it in a package and have it come out right. And now we've achieved that with the help with the Tetra Recart. And that has enabled us to be able to have it on supermarket shelves, with a two year life period and what's great about that is that once you open it you can put it in the refrigerator and save it. The reason this product didn't have the kind of exposure we wanted it to have, was because it was only in a frozen state, or a fresh state and we just couldn't get it out there to the general public. And now we can. That's the big change and that's what makes it new.

The biggest change is that we don't have to explain it to the buyers like we did before. They not only get it, they're accepting it and they're ready for it. We already know from a lot of the guests and customer response that it’s very positive and now we've got the product that we've been wanting to see out there, it's a superior product, absolutely delicious, duplicated right from our restaurants and that's a big deal. So we had to wait for that technology to move forward. Just by us being there, it’s innovation. Because of the flavors that we have with the the Jambalya, the crab and corn chowder, the wonderful chicken gumbo, so because of that, that says right away, look at these new flavors. It's in this packaging, let's try it.

It's the correct and right way to go, it's the green way to go, it's the healthy way to go. And that’s a game changer. And I believe what it’s going to be for the entire industry. This is what it’s going to be.