New York, NY, United States (4E) – Soup and salad sales continues to drive restaurant visits, according to a survey of restaurant research firm Technomic.
More than half of consumers (55 percent) say they order soup at restaurants at least sometimes, and 76 percent order salad with the same frequency, Restaurant News said citing the “Soup & Salad Consumer: Left Side of the Menu Report.”
The report showed that 46 percent of 729 soup consumers surveyed visited restaurants specifically because they enjoy the soup offered them while 43 percent of 648 salad consumers surveyed dined in restaurants because of the salad.
The leading soup and salad flavor is chicken, the report added.
“Catering to consumers’ need for variety when dining out — while also striking a balance between craveable, healthy, and innovative yet familiar offerings that justify price points — will be important in driving soup and salad purchases. Operators may also have room to ramp up soup and salad orders by promoting their appeal across dayparts and mealparts,” Technomic executive vice president Darren Tristano said in a press release announcing the publication of the report.
The report backs findings by the NPD Group, a market research company, last year that soup purchases are making a comeback after showing declines at restaurants and other food service areas.
NPD Group found that soup sales among food service distributors grew at least two percent in the year ending July 2013 compared to the same period of July 2012.
It also found that soup dollar volume sales bounced back in the areas of non-commercial segment, retail food service outlets and lodging and recreation channels.
Last year’s soup sale growth was strongest in the chili, refrigerated soup and soup base category. For flavors, chicken-flavored soups sold more.
One of the soup sales growth drivers is Soupman Inc. (OTC:SOUP), maker of The Original Soupman packaged soups sold in several grocery stores across the U.S.
Soupman also runs restaurants and food trucks, including the Famous New York Delicatessen & Restaurant, an extension of The Original Soupman storefront. The restaurants serve authentic New York delicatessen dishes including Al’s 42 St. Ruben, Thanksgiving Day parade fresh sliced pastrami, corned beef and lobster rolls.
Soupman has former NBA player Shaquille O’Neal as partner who leads the franchising campaign for the SoupMobile.
EuroMonitor International reported that the soup industry is a growing industry. By 2017, it is projected that it will reach $4.7 billion with a growth rate of 6 percent.
The growth, it said will be driven by premium and health- and wellness-oriented products. Packaged soups will most unlikely attract market shares as EuroMonitor data showed that soups in cans consumption declined by 13 percent in the past 10 years.
Soupman has partnered with Tetra Pak and is gaining popularity due to its innovative packaging.
“We are excited to see the great success of the Original Soupman ready-to-serve soups and its recent addition of new flavors. And it is great to know that our Tetra Pak cartons, thanks to their smart design and environmental and protection profile are helping this product score high with savvy consumers all over the country,” said Suley Muratglu, Tetra Pak’s vice president of Marketing and Product Management.