Soup, the liquid food that has long been beloved by octogenarians and dental patients, is finally receiving the attention it deserves. Food entrepreneur Jon Sebastiani, the innovator behind Krave Jerky, has teamed up with Ayesha Curry (food personality, barbecue chef, friend of Drake, and mother of the adorable Riley Curry) to "disrupt" the soup category.
Along with Curry and triathlete Meredith Kessler, both of whom have signed on as equity partners and brand ambassadors, Sebastiani has launched ZÜPA NOMA, a company focusing on individual portions of chilled, organic vegetable soup on-the-go. (And in case you were wondering, the "NOMA" has nothing to do with the high-profile Copenhagan restaurant, and everything to do with where it's made— Sonoma.) The stagnant soup industry— an $8 billion-a-year industry in the U.S., according to the SF Biz journal— hasn't seen a shake up in quite some time, and is dominated by can-centric companies.
The idea for the company came primarily from Sebastiani's own endless thirst for chilled soups, spurred by a trip to soup-saturated Europe. "The soup category is ripe for disruption," Sebatiani told the Biz Journal. "And we believe that ZÜPA NOMA will revitalize the category with innovation, fresh ingredients and flavors that deliver a liquid feast."
Backed by Sebastiani's own consumer products incubator and venture fund, Sonoma Brands, an aggressive, nationwide roll-out is planned after the initial market research is completed. To start, the company will do a 90-day test run, debuting six flavors to 1,000 West Coast retailers, including the grocery store Sprouts, as well as corporate cafeterias like Google (because where else would one test out disruptive soup?), and sell for $6.99 per 12 ounce bottle. Flavors like tomato gazpacho, beet orange basil and carrot coconut lime will be part of the original lineup; expect the soup revolution to start July 1.