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Boost menu appeal with signature soups

Use speed-scratch soups to create craveable, on-trend dishes
Photograph: Shutterstock

Soup is a comfort food, and many consumers have a favorite they turn to when they want a bit of warmth. For operators, offering those classics is a no-brainer, but for operators who want to expand their menu and offer innovative options, creating signature soups by starting with canned soups is the perfect solution. By adding flavors that elevate the experience, trendy ingredients and globally inspired flavors, operators can boost menu appeal and ensure diners have something new and delicious to enjoy. What’s more, leaning on canned soup can help ease supply chain worries. When it’s difficult to source ingredients, canned soups can provide great starting points for recipes, and thanks to their long shelf lives, they offer a reliable meal option even in times of scarcity.

Elevated experiences

Tomato soup is a mainstay on menu. Often served with grilled cheese sandwiches, this combination is a comfort food classic. By combining comfort foods such as these, operators can create an elevated experience that diners will love. For another riff on tomato soup, try offering Cheeseburger Soup. Start with Campbell’s® Healthy Request® Condensed Tomato Soup, then top with ground beef, cheddar cheese and other burger-inspired ingredients, such as shredded lettuce, tomato and croutons. According to Technomic’s 2019 Starters, Small Plates & Sides Consumer Trend Report, 59% of consumers prefer the soups they order at restaurants to be housemade. By starting with canned soup and adding housemade ingredients, operators can highlight originality and change the positioning of their soups.

Trending ingredients

Keeping the soup menu fresh is key in maintaining diners’ interest. According to Ignite menu data from Technomic, some trending flavors and ingredients include butternut squash, spinach, chives, and pork. Try including some of these ingredients in a new signature soup. For instance, Campbell’s® Healthy Request® Cream of Mushroom Soup is the perfect base to create this Butternut Squash, Kale & Turkey Sausage Soup. Spicy soups are also trending, with 37% of consumers ages 18-34 saying they prefer to order soups with spicy flavors, according to Technomic’s 2018 Soup & Salad Consumer Trend Report. To meet this need, start with Campbell’s® Healthy Request® Cream of Chicken Soup, then add cooked diced chicken, french-fried onions, crumbled blue cheese, diced celery, carrots and hot pepper sauce for a craveable Buffalo Chicken Soup that diners will come back for again and again.

Global flavors

According to Ignite menu data, some of the fastest-growing soup flavors include Asian flavors and miso. For operators, the opportunity to add these flavors on soup menus is big. Chicken noodle soup can get an update with just a few easy additions. Campbell’s® Healthy Request® Chicken Noodle Soup provides the perfect starting point, and it’s transformed instantly by adding in shredded green cabbage, shredded carrot, diced red bell pepper, minced ginger root, ground red pepper, green onions and soy sauce. Then operators can whisk in beaten egg to create a texture not unlike egg drop soup. In just a few short minutes, traditional chicken noodle soup becomes Asian Vegetable Soup.

By using canned soups from Campbell’s® to create signature offerings, operators can boost the appeal of menus without having to start from scratch every time. What’s more, canned soups offer additional benefits—offering a reliable solution when supply chain issues make it difficult to get the ingredients facilities need, as well as offering flexibility thanks to a long shelf life. By having canned soups on hand, operators can feel confident they’ll always be able to prepare a delicious meal their diners will love.

Find out more about Campbell’s® canned soups and get recipe inspiration at campbellsfoodservice.com.

This post is sponsored by Campbell's Foodservice

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