It’s Not Center of Plate That’s Driving Traffic

Soup has always been a draw for consumers dining out, but now more than ever, a craveable soup is a way to build brand loyalty among younger consumers. According to Technomic’s 2022 Soup & Salad report, 49% of consumers age 18-34 visit restaurants specifically for the soup they offer.1 And 59% of consumers in the same age group would order soup at least once per month.1 In fact, soup orders are now outpacing salad orders, particularly among consumers age 25-34.1

This increased demand for soup makes sense when we look at the adoption of ethnic menu items over time, particularly Asian cuisine, which includes many different soups. We continue to watch soups like Vietnamese meatball, bok choy udon, pho and umami broth pop up on more mainstream menus.1 Yet, Americans haven’t completely replaced comforting favorites like chicken noodle, broccoli cheddar and New England clam chowder. According to Technomic, Chicken Noodle isn’t just known as a comforting soup, it’s also perceived to be healthy.1

Knowing comforting, classic flavors are still so important to consumers, Campbell’s Foodservice recently set out to identify the most important qualities of broccoli cheddar and chicken noodle soups with foodservice operators and consumers. They found that operators and consumers valued things like shredded whole-muscle chicken and circle-cut carrots in a chicken noodle soup and a creamy texture and cheesy flavor in a broccoli cheddar soup. They then found in recent consumer testing that Campbell’s® Signature Broccoli Cheddar outperformed a top-selling broccoli cheddar soup by Blount in overall liking.2 With high-quality ingredients like real cream and cheese, and a ready-to-eat pouch format, it’s an easy way to add a craveable soup to your menu that will keep customers coming back.

It is important to look at your total soup offering to ensure you are maximizing the additional sales opportunities among consumers adding soup to their orders. Having a mix of broth-, cream- and chili-based soups on your core menu can satisfy heavy soup consumers, and testing new flavors across Mexican, Italian, Mediterranean and Asian cuisines could allow you to unlock a new fan favorite.1

When soup is added to an order at a restaurant, you can increase your average check size by about $5.14 per guest.3 So, if you serve 20,000 bowls of soup per year, you can increase annual topline sales by over $100,000. If you give guests the option of enjoying their soup in a bread bowl—and 29% of consumers are opting to order soup in a bread bowl these days—you can increase sales even further with the more premium offering.1

Campbell’s Foodservice is the partner that can help you maximize your soup offering by providing soups with flavors and ingredients that are sure to delight and satisfy your guests throughout the year. Our frozen prepared soups allow you to serve the quality and taste you require with ease, leaving you with happier guests—and more empty bowls.

1Technomic 2022 Soup & Salad Consumer Trends Report

2Broccoli Cheese Central Location Test Denver, CO, Tucson, AZ, June 2021. Overall liking 132 foodservice consumers surveyed, 90% confidence.

3The NPD Group CREST®, Average Eater Check for Paid Occasions, latest two years, ending December 2019