Seinfeld Soup Inspiration Goes Retail

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In 1984, The Original SoupMan opened its doors at 55th St. and 8th Ave. in Manhattan. This soup café was the inspiration for the famous Seinfeld "Soup Nazi" episode, which after broadcasting, made the tiny storefront a worldwide destination. And now, New York City-based SoupMan Inc. is making The Original SoupMan available in the ambient temperature soup aisle of supermarkets across the country.

Packaged in shelf-stable paperboard cartons, the initial rollout comes in four varieties: Chicken Noodle, Lentil, Lobster Bisque and Tomato Bisque. Suggested retail price is $3.79-3.99 for a two-serving, 17.3-oz. carton.

Basketball great Shaquille O'Neal, a brand ambassador and equity partner, is promoting the product through the "Soup with Shaq Sweepstakes," a Facebook-driven contest that will give four grand prize winners the chance to win a trip for two to meet Shaq and talk over a bowl of The Original SoupMan soup. O'Neal wants to raise awareness among families that premium soups are a smart food choice. He is also active with the company in its school lunch program, which includes affordable, low-sodium, low-fat options that meet new USDA guidelines for school foods. Already The Original SoupMan Mexicali Bean lunch is being served to New York City public school students. Shaq-A-Roni 'n Meatballs is about to be added to the menu.

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