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Soup sales heat up

Restaurant customers are ordering more soup, according to Technomic's Left Side of the Menu: Soup & Salad Consumer Trend Report. By the cup or bowl, as a side or entree, 61% of consumers now order soup at least occasionally during restaurant visits, up from 52% just two years ago.

  • Soup and salad are the two most common appetizers at both limited-service restaurants (LSRs) and full-service restaurants (FSRs)
  • Soup grew 22% to surpass salad as the leading appetizer at LSRs
  • Based on information from over 500 leading and emerging chains, chili has surpassed soup-of-the-day offerings to become the leading soup variety at LSRs; it ranked second at FSRs
  • Interest in healthier, lighter fare is driving increases for both soup and salad

"Healthy options and portion variety are driving factors in today's soup and salad menu positioning, says Technomic Director of Consumer Research, Sara Monnette. "Operators are revamping their menus in response to consumer demand for soup and salad as a standalone entree, side substitution, an appetizer or a component of a combo meal."

Source: Technomic's Left Side of the Menu: Soup & Salad Trend Report; February, 2012