Make no mistake: the universal comfort-food appeal of soup has transformed this cozy menu mainstay into profit headline news. Across the country and across all segments, consumers can’t get enough of the soup trend, keeping traffic high, customers satisfied, and chefs and operators hungry for more ways to ladle up sales and repeat business.
The numbers speak for themselves: soup is a major player on today’s menus. The first step to building a strong, profitable soup program is understanding WHO your best customer is and WHERE they buy soup.
Soup Can Grow Sales in Every Daypart
- Soup is most often consumed at lunch (48%).
- Soup and lunch are the greatest partners: nearly 33% of diners are eating lunch from foodservice always or often. 19% of consumers eat lunch in a restaurant two or more times per week.
- Americans sip over 10 BILLION bowls of soup every single year.
- Every year, 99% of all American homes buy soup - turning it into a $5 billion business.
Serve Profits by the Ladle Full
Americans’ preferences for healthier foods - low-fat, low-cholesterol and higher nutritional value - are the biggest reason for soup’s growing popularity.
- 67% of all Americans say they make an effort to improve their health.
- Soup is perceived as one of the healthiest foods available in restaurants.
- Six of the top ten most healthfully perceived restaurants are also heavy soup marketers.
*Restaurants & Institutions, ’New American Diner’ 2009/Health Magazine, 2009
Consumers: What They Are Thinking
NORPAC recently asked 1,000 people across America their thoughts about soup:
- Consumers think restaurant soups taste betterthan canned soups.
- Restaurant chefs prepare soup daily from fresh ingredients and restaurant soups taste homemade.
- Restaurants feature soups on the menu that consumers would not make for themselves or buy at a store.
- They like the warm, cozy feeling they getfrom hot soup in a restaurant.
Most Popular Soups Nationwide
|Chicken Noodle||Chicken Noodle||Chicken Noodle|
|Cream of Potato||Cream of Potato||Clam Chowder (white)|
|Vegetable||Broccoli with Cheese||Italian Wedding|
|Broccoli with Cheese||Chicken with Rice||Cream of Potato|
|Chicken with Rice||Vegetable with Beef||Broccoli with Cheese|
|Clam Chowder (any)||Cheese Soup||Minestrone|
|Cream of Potato||Chicken Noodle|
|Chicken Noodle||Cream of Potato|
|Broccoli with Cheese||Clam Chowder (white)|
|Chicken with Rice||Broccoli with Cheese|
|Chicken Gumbo||Chicken Gumbo|
|Clam Chowder (white)||Chicken with Rice|