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    Soup, Salad Prove Popular in Consumers' Diets

    Restaurants with these offerings are being challenged by retailers, according to study.

    CHICAGO -- Soup and salad continue to be go-to choices for Americans mindful of healthy eating, and restaurants with these offerings face "considerable competition" from retailers, according to new research by Technomic Inc.

    The research and consulting firm's Left Side of the Menu: Soup & Salad Consumer Trend Report revealed several key findings regarding soup and salad offerings:

    • Fort-six percent of consumers strongly agree that they visit certain restaurants specifically because they enjoy the soup and 43 percent because they enjoy the salad.
    • Fifty percent of consumers want to try new and unique soups. More than one-third of consumers said they purchase soup to try new varieties, and 21 percent said the same for salad.
    • More than half of consumers say it is important that soup is bundled with other items, and 60 percent said the same for salad. Additionally, 58 percent of consumers reported they are more likely to order soup as a combo meal than as a single item.

    "Soup and salad are traditional favorites, but consumers still expect variety and something different on the menu," said Darren Tristano, executive vice president of Technomic. "Catering to consumers' needs 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's report provides comprehensive research organized into five sections: Menu Insights, Retail Soup & Salad Trends, Consumer Insights, Outlook: Trends to Watch, and Profiles.

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