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CHICAGO — 61 percent of consumers now order soup at least occasionally during restaurant visits, according to national foodservice researcher Technomic Inc.That's 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 in 2009.
"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 entrée, side substitution, an appetizer, or a component of a combo meal. There are many menu variations in which soups/salads are now offered."
The survey, titled Left Side of the Menu: Soup & Salad Consumer Trend Report, indicates that 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.