Friday, July 24, 2009

No soup for you recession

Posted By on Fri, Jul 24, 2009 at 10:14 AM

souplines.072409.jpg

The conventional wisdom is that when times are tough, people turn to canned goods and generic brands in an effort to save money. But our recession diets appear to be changing according to Time magazine's "10 Big Recession Surprises."

Soup feels like an indicator of hard times -- whether that's a brain ripple from classic photographs of Depression soup lines or the fact that the offerings never seem to change. And yet Campbell's Soup isn't experiencing the normal uptick in sales in connection with an economic slowdown. In the last three months, sales of ready-to-eat soup declined by 7 percent. Time suggests that it's either the cost of creating a whole meal around that soup or dietary concerns over sodium intake.

Whether it's a causal factor or merely related, organic food sales are expected to rise by 6 percent this year. Interestingly, Time points to a finding that the biggest increase might be among a group of people who were once high earners -- consumers who made more than $75,000 a year, but have recently seen their financial situation change dramatically.

Whether it is out of a desire to improve the planet or their health, or a need to feel like they're in control of something, this group's flagship story might be the tale of buying a $35 organic chicken.  

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