Restaurants Show Growth in Soup and Salad Menu Items

Away-from-home soup and salad purchases are on the rise, as consumers seek light, healthy and affordable fare. A variety of portion sizes featuring soup/salad options on different areas of the menu allows consumers to tailor their meal specifically to their needs. Whether it’s a cup or bowl, side or entree, 61 percent of consumers now order soup at least occasionally during restaurant visits, up from 52 percent just two years ago. Salads have grown even more, nearly half of consumers now order salad all or most of the time compared to 34 percent.

“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. There are many menu variations in which soups/salads are now offered.”

Interesting findings include:

  • Soup and salad are the two most common appetizers at both limited-service restaurants (LSRs) and full-service restaurants (FSRs). Appetizer salads remained fairly steady in both sectors since 2009, while soup grew 22 percent to surpass salad as the leading appetizer at LSRs.
  • Salads are the fourth most frequently menued entree among all entrees at LSRs and rank second at FSRs. Chicken-topped salads are by far the leading entree variety offered at both LSRs and FSRs, followed by Caesar.
  • 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, and ranked second at FSRs.
  • Interest in healthier, lighter fare is driving increases for both soup and salad. 76 percent of consumers who are purchasing salads more often say they’re seeking a healthier option and 49 percent want something lighter.
  • A strong majority (64 percent) of consumers believe that dressings are a key component, if not the key component of a tasty salad. The overall variety of options and flavors offered trumps healthfulness and brand names as purchase drivers.
Back

What Clients Say About Patrice & Associates

  • Jonathan Litt was an amazing coach during my job search.

    The thing that stands out to me the most is you can tell he truly cares. He helped me gain self confidence through phone calls and was constantly checking in on me during the interview process. Not only was I able to acquire a great job with the help of Jonathan, but I received incredible insight. He is a very smart guy and is able to effectively explain his thoughts in a simple manner.          

    Thank you so much!

    Jacque J.

    Jonathan Litt was an amazing coach during my job search.
  • Karen Horton is personable, knowledgeable, and was instrumental to my Career Goals.

    Communication and correspondence with her was easy and fast and her feedback always proved very useful during the recruitment process.  With other recruiters I have dealt with in the past, I've usually had the impression that I was merely part of a quota of applications. This was not so with Karen, I am convinced that she had my best interest in mind as well as those of the company she was "hunting" me for.    

    I cannot thank Karen enough for all her assistance in what I am sure will be a long lasting relationship with my new employer.

    Regards,

    Carlos

    Karen Horton is personable, knowledgeable, and was instrumental to my Career Goals.
  • Ross Horton is the definition of what a professional account manager should aspire to be!

    He finds ways to help that best suits his candidate, now that takes passion for helping people! The way that he engages with his clients is truly rare to find. If you have the chance to work with him. Do it!

    Thank you,  Ross Horton and Patrice & Associates!

    Joel Rodriguez

    Ross Horton is the definition of what a professional account manager should aspire to be!
  • Dionne Spriggens is the definition of Dedicated!

    Dionne Spriggens is doing a great job with exceptional service.  Dionne is amazing with her persistence and the positive vibes she brings.  Since I the first time I spoke with her she has been nothing but professional and dedicated.

    I strongly believe that she will be a great asset to Patrice & Associates for many more years to come!

    Best regards

    Bovon L.

    Dionne Spriggens is the definition of Dedicated!
  • Shawn Hoye needs a raise!

    Shawn Hoye went above and beyond in matching me with a position and company that was best suited for me. He is passionate about what he does, and is with you every single step of the way. I would highly recommend Shawn Hoye and Patrice & Associates.          

    Thank you!

    Melissa

    Shawn Hoye needs a raise!