A popular chain of Montreal lunchtime restaurants has launched its first retail products in IGA stores across Quebec.
“So far, so good—knock on wood,” said Frédéric Parisien, director of product development with Soupesoup.
He was referring to early anecdotal reports he’s received about sales of the company’s new line of four ready-to-eat soups.
The four exotic-sounding products—Sweet Potato and Red Curry, Beet and Citrus, Squash and Apple, and Cauliflower and Cheddar—began rolling out at all 280 IGA stores across Quebec on Sept. 28.
Made with gluten-free, locally-sourced products, the soups are sold in 625-ml microwaveable containers for $6.99 apiece.
Founded by celebrity chef Caroline Dumas, Soupesoup sells soups and sandwiches at seven locations on the island of Montreal.
According to Parisien, whose father Jacques, a Montreal businessman and Power Corporation board member who bought the company last year, Sobeys showed keen interest in a pitch to develop ready-to-eat soups for its IGA stores.
“A Sobeys official apparently ate at one of our restaurants and loved the food,” said Parisien. “Our soups are made simply using the best ingredients.”
He said recipes for the four new soups were developed in-house over the summer. A nearby commercial kitchen was subcontracted to manufacture the product.
Parisien hopes the soups’ colourful packaging, together with two Soupsoupe recipe books and media-savvy Dumas’ continued connection with the brand, will hope to boost sales beyond the island of Montreal.
“That’s the big challenge,” he told Canadian Grocer. “But the feedback we’re getting is people love them when they try them, so we’re confident the word will spread.”