How soup goes beyond the bowl

Photograph courtesy of Campbell's Foodservice

For healthcare operators, it’s important to provide guests and patients with comfortable experiences while keeping staff energized. Food is a way to take quality care to the next level, and one of the most popular recovery foods is soup. Soup can be served as a meal full of nutrients and taste, and it can also be used as a key ingredient to make nutritious and innovative dishes at low costs. With a wide range of tastes to accommodate—from long-term care residents to visitors and employees—healthcare menus can be challenging to create. The versatility of soup offers a variety of ways that operators can meet the needs of both guests and patients.

Elevate recipes

Soup goes beyond traditional chicken noodle and tomato varieties served in a bowl. Operators can combine it with other ingredients to craft restaurant-quality meals, like stuffed chicken breast, beef stroganoff and creamed spinach. Soup may expand culinary options by providing a recipe base and flavors that complement other meal components. It can also inspire more customization to meet baby boomers’ demand for choice. Projections show a population increase from 43.1 million in 2012 to 72.8 million in 2030 for ages 65 and over. The rising numbers of this generation as well as their expectations for variety are leading to changes in the quality and scope of healthcare menus. With soup’s ability to personalize meals, operators can mirror a restaurant experience and provide patient choice, an enticing point for baby boomers and healthcare facilities in general.

Reduce costs

Soup is a cost-friendly way to deliver the nutrients and taste that residents need. With the rise in labor costs, it can be a challenge to get and retain skilled labor. Consistent menu items can cut labor and inventory costs. By increasing the versatility of ingredients in the pantry, operators can reduce the cost of meals, which averages a daily total of $8.60 per patient. Canned soup in particular is shelf stable, providing ingredients that don’t require refrigerator, cooler or freezer space and making it easier to manage inventory and food waste.

Appeal to all appetites

One of the challenges of healthcare is accommodating the diversity of dietary needs. Not only do patients require nourishment but so do visitors and staff. Soup is a way to cater to all groups. With a wide variety of flavors, soup can help achieve this balance of diets and provide more choices in a menu that accommodates many dietary constraints and tastes.

Food plays a significant role in maintaining quality patient care, and with nourishment as versatile as soup, healthcare operators can satisfy guests and patients.

Sources: Technomic Healthcare Assessment Structured Survey, 2015 and 2010; Technomic Understanding Healthcare Foodservice, 2018

This post is sponsored by Campbell's Foodservice