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Frequently Asked Questions

New England Country Soup - Great Ingredients - Great TasteClick on a question below to see the answer!

General

How can I contact you?

We love to hear from our soup lovers! Just click here to contact us and ask us your questions, tell us of any concerns, make any suggestions! We'll be in touch with you shortly.

Where can I buy your products?

Click here to see where we're located.

My local grocery store does not carry all of your flavors. What should I do?

Currently, we are working very hard to expand the locations of our soups and we'd love it if you would help by requesting our products at your local grocery store through the store manager! But for now, click here and you can order our soups directly through our website

Can I buy soups directly?

Yes. Click here and you can order our soups online directly from us!

What are my payment options?

On Line: We use PayPal to process your payments. PayPal accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and, of course, direct PayPal accounts.

Telephone: If you want to call in your credit card information and complete your purchase by phone, you can. Just select the Pay by Phone option during Checkout and place your order. You'll receive an email with easy steps to complete your order by calling calling 1-888-221-1161

How long will it take to get the product delivered?

Generally, we ship within 24 hours. You will have the option to determine your exact shipping method (1 day air, 2 day air, or ground) and cost for delivery. The shorter the ship time, the greater the expense.

What is your privacy policy?

At New England Country Soup, we are committed to respecting and protecting your privacy. We never sell your name or information; the "conversation" is between us!

Is it safe to use my credit card for online purchases?

Yes. We use PayPal, an eBay Company, to process all of our transactions. PayPal is a global leader in online payments with more than 150 million accounts, worldwide. PayPal is well respected in the industry and continues to receive award after award for service and technical excellence. PayPal uses the latest encryption technology to keep your information safe. And PayPal guarantees that each purchase you make with us through them is protected and safe.

Can I recycle your pouches?

Yes, but recycling "7 other" materials may not be available in your area.

Our pouch carries a Plastic recycling designation of "7 Other", the same as Campbell's and Progresso's plastic microwaveable bowls. This "7 Other" designation indicates the package can be recycled, though most recycling centers in the United States are currently not capable of accepting this form of plastic container for recycling. Unfortunately, it is a trade-off between the safety and toughness of the package (shelf-stable with a shelf life equal to a can or plastic bowl) versus recycling versus "source reduction" (i.e., less packaging).

With less weight… all the toughness of a microwaveable bowl or can, plus the same "7 Other" designation as a bowl… and when empty, a dramatically smaller "footprint" when discarded, we think our pouch is the superior way to bring you safe, all natural, great tasting, shelf stable, ready-to-serve soup and we are constantly evaluating new packaging, which we hope will allow us to reduce our "waste profile" even more in the future.

Do you support any causes?

At New England Country Soup, we believe fervently that "small changes can lead to big change." So while we have supported American Forests for years in their efforts to combat climate change through the planting of trees, we think there are other important areas that can benefit from our collective support.

That's why we have chosen two additional organizations to support: Grameen America which focuses on helping people help themselves and Action for Healthy Kids which focuses on healthy meals and getting kids active to help to reverse the epidemic of childhood obesity. For further information see our 'Eat Well, Do Good' website page.

Do you offer coupons?

Yes. We offer online coupons. Click here to be directed to "find our soup" page. Select a state and a retailer to see if a coupon is currently available.

Are there any new flavors in the works?

There are always new flavors in the works. And as you can understand we do not reveal the specifics of those new flavors until we are ready to go to market. But we would love to hear any flavor suggestions you might have. Please let us know!

Does my pouch need to be refrigerated?

No, as long as the pouch remains unopened, it is shelf stable and does not need to be refrigerated. Once the pouch is opened, please place any leftovers into an airtight container and refrigerate.


Safety/Nutrition

Is your pouch BPA free?

Yes. Our pouch is BPA free!

Are there any preservatives in your soups?

No. None of our soups contain preservatives.

Do your soups contain trans fats?

No. None of our soups contain trans fats.

Why do you use rice starch?

One of the many things that sets New England Country Soup apart is our use of rice starch, not corn starch, to add body and a smooth texture to our soups. Rice starch helps us give you broths that are lighter and cleaner, enabling all of our wonderful, natural flavors to be fully savored. As has been said, "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." Many of our biggest competitors have begun using rice starch to improve their soups; we're flattered!

Why do you use sea salt?

Traditional soups are just too salty. That much sodium is plainly unnecessary, is certainly not good for you and hides the flavors of the soup. You do need some salt to bring out all the flavors of a great soup. So we chose a special, lower sodium, natural sea salt to bring you great taste and remarkably low sodium per serving: as low as 240mg (our Chicken Corn Chowder) and no higher than 370mg (our New England Clam Chowder).

How many days will the product last after the package has been opened?

If you have leftovers, please place the remaining contents into an airtight container and refrigerate. Handled in this way, the soup should be good for an additional 1-2 days.

What is all natural?

One would think the definition of "All Natural" ("Natural", "100% Natural") would be easy for the food industry to agree upon; remarkably, it is quite controversial.

"The Short Answer": For us, it's pretty simple: our ingredients come from plants or animals with no more preparation than that which one could do in his/her own kitchen. We think it's important to name every ingredient in our soups on our package. As well, we think it's important for each ingredient to be understandable and well known.

We have a simple "test" we use here and at home: Do you recognize the ingredient? Can you pronounce the ingredient?

"The Longer Answer": Three of our soups are USDA certified: Chicken Corn Chowder, Yankee White Bean and Chicken Pomodoro. All three soups have a bunch of chicken in them (a source of good, all natural, lean protein) which means they fall under USDA control. The USDA does have a definition of "Natural" (see below). And we, of course, more than meet this standard.

One more interesting point: the USDA's "natural" standard is more stringent than Organic. For instance, if our soups were Organic, we could add calcium chloride to our diced tomatoes to make them more firm and help them retain their bulk. As a "natural" soup, we can't and don't.

Two other examples: none of our ingredients have any "natural flavorings" - our butter is butter as you would have it if you lived right on the Happy Cow Farm. The rotini pasta in our Chicken Pomodoro is made just as you would make it at home - wheat flour, egg whites and water - that's it.

USDA definition: "Those products carrying the 'natural' claim must not contain any artificial flavoring, color ingredients, chemical preservatives, or artificial or synthetic ingredients, and are only ‘minimally processed' defined by the USDA as a process that does not fundamentally alter the raw product."

Are all of your products all natural?

Yes. All of our soups are all natural.

What process do you use to make your soups shelf-stable?

We use the same process that is used for all canned goods: "retorting," or in FDA terms, "thermal processing." Our pouches are subjected to temperatures around 250F to kill all of the bacteria…this is what makes the soup "shelf stable" with an +18 month shelf life. As you can imagine, it is quite tricky to develop great-tasting, all-natural soups with the simple, clean ingredient lists we have because all these wonderful ingredients are subjected to serious heat (and pressure) in cooking... what you "start with" is not what you "end up with"…that's where the artistry comes in!

Why do you use a pouch? Is it safe?

Our pouches are easy to prepare, are safe for the environment, and have an excellent shelf life. This state-of-the-art technology was first perfected in Europe and Japan, and then brought to the US. But we were skeptical: could these pouches be safe in the microwave?

Yes, very safe!

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tests and certifies the safety of food packages. Our pouches, of course, passed the FDA's tests with "flying colors." The FDA also publishes guidelines about food ingredients and food packaging. Check out http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodIngredientsPackaging/ucm094210.htm for more information on microwavable pouches, plastic containers and helpful guidelines for food preparation.

The FDA is not the only US authority to weigh in on the safety of microwave cooking in certain plastic packages and containers. The FDA findings were confirmed by a Harvard Medical School report: http://www.health.harvard.edu/fhg/updates/update0706a.shtml. A separate report from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health on the issue of dioxins found, since plastics do not contain dioxins, dioxins cannot be released into foods cooking in the microwave; see http://www.jhsph.edu/publichealthnews/articles/halden_plastics.html for more information.

In addition to these US experts, we looked to Europe, where the packages had been created, for more assurance. We reviewed the European Food Safety Agency ("EFSA") of the European Union ("EU") packaging guidelines http://www.efsa.europa.eu. The guidelines "across the pond" are as stringent, if not more stringent, than our FDA guidelines. Again, these pouches meet or exceed all EU standards, the "essential requirements" of which are: (1) "source reduction" (i.e., reduce packaging waste... see below), (2) "minimum presence of hazardous substances" and (3) "recovery, reuse and recycling". The same is true - meet or exceed - for the Japanese food packaging safety standards; see the Food Safety Commission of Japan for additional information http://www.fsc.go.jp/english/index.html.

Light, Tough and Energy Efficient

Empty, our pouch weighs 0.3 ounces versus Campbell's or Progresso's plastic microwaveable bowls, which weigh 1.65 ounces or more than 4 times the weight of our pouch! In fact, our entire pouch weighs no more than the plastic lid on a microwavable bowl of Campbell's Chunky or Select Harvest or Progresso soup.

Those same Campbell's Chunky and Select Harvest and Progresso ready-to-serve soup cans weigh 2.65–2.70 ounces per can; or 7 to 8 times more than the weight of our pouch! And yet, our pouch provides the same shelf life as a can or plastic bowl.

What does all of that mean? For every 10 truckloads of product we ship in pouches, Campbell's and Progresso are sending 11 truckloads full of bowls. If they ship cans, that translates to 14 truckloads versus our 10! Less packaging means less energy is used to make the package and less energy consumed in transporting the package from our manufacturing facility to your store. In this day and age, less (energy) is truly more!


Special Diet

Are any soups gluten free?

Yes. Seven (7) of our eight (8) soups are gluten free: Chicken Corn Chowder, Nana’s Chicken Soup, Yankee White Bean, New England Clam Chowder, Caribbean Black Bean, Lentil, and Sweet Chicken Curry. Only one – Chicken Pomodoro - has gluten. This gluten is from the wheat flour used in the pasta.

Is there any fructose corn syrup in your soups?

No. Only extra fine, granulated sugar is used and only in three (3) of our flavors: Chicken Corn Chowder, New England Clam Chowder, and Caribbean Black Bean.

Do your soups contain MSG?

No. No MSG is added. These are all natural products. The only MSG found is that which occurs naturally in any of our ingredients.

Are any soups vegan?

Yes. Both our Lentil and our Caribbean Black Bean are vegan!

Are any soups certified kosher?

No. Our products are not certified kosher.

Are any soups dairy free?

Yes. Five (5) of our soups are dairy free: Nana’s Chicken Soup, Caribbean Black Bean, Chicken Pomodoro, Lentil and Sweet Chicken Curry.

Which of your soups have any of the 8 "major food allergens" identified by the FDA?

The ingredient lists on our soups are simple and very understandable because (a) we use ingredients you'll recognize and be able to pronounce and most likely have many of, if not all, in your kitchen right now and (b) we list all of our ingredients separately. Please review the specific ingredient list of each variety of soup before enjoying these great, all natural products.
Milk: Chicken Corn Chowder, Yankee White Bean and New England Clam Chowder
Eggs: Chicken Pomodoro
Fish: None
Crustacean Shellfish: New England Clam Chowder
Tree Nuts: None
Peanuts: None
Wheat: Chicken Pomodoro
Soybeans: Chicken Corn Chowder, Yankee White Bean and New England Clam Chowder

I have sensitivities to some spices… do you list all spices on your ingredient panel?

Yes, that's one of the reasons why we list all ingredients separately.


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