For the lunchtime crowd, as well as anyone looking for a meal with great value, adding soup to a combo has long been a classic pairing. And for operators, offering soup as part of a meal combo is a great way to offer interesting foods to those seeking something new as well as familiar options for those who may be a bit more gun-shy. Giving this classic combo an ethnic twist can give menus a boost.
According to Technomic’s 2018 Ethnic Food & Beverage Consumer Trend Report, nearly a third (30%) of restaurant operators say they are now menuing more ethnic dishes or dishes with ethnic flavors. It’s easy to see why: More than half (53%) of consumers say they purchase an ethnic dish or food featuring ethnic flavors at restaurants at least once a week. As consumers gravitate toward new cuisines and flavors, operators can branch out from the usual suspects and offer diners a more expansive list of ethnic foods. Here’s how.
To some diners, pho might seem a little intimidating, but with its rich beef or chicken broth, rice noodles, and fresh toppings such as basil or mint, sprouts, lime and jalapeno, it’s not too far outside the box for most. These types of soup appeal to the 28% of consumers saying they are interested in trying more soups made with bone broth, according to Technomic’s 2018 Left Side of the Menu: Soup and Salad Consumer Trend Report, since pho typically starts with a rich bone broth and is then simmered with herbs, spices and other flavorings before being served with noodles and toppings.
Spring rolls, with a rice paper wrapper, rice noodles, mint, lettuce, and proteins such as shrimp, tofu, pork or chicken are a tasty, light and filling pairing for pho. Serve them with a peanut sauce and optional sriracha for a flavor pairing that diners will crave again and again.
Technomic’s 2018 Left Side of the Menu: Soup and Salad Consumer Trend Report notes that 74% of consumers say they are more likely to purchase soup described as having a full serving of vegetables. Lentil soup, often accompanied by other produce such as tomato, onion or zucchini, can fit the bill for diners who want a soup that’s packed with veggies.
Try menuing lentil soup with a Mediterranean favorite, chicken shawarma. Frequently paired together, this combo offers diners a comforting, protein-packed meal.
Seventy-six percent of consumers say their favorite protein in soup is chicken, according to Technomic’s 2018 Left Side of the Menu: Soup and Salad Consumer Trend Report. Tortilla soup is a great option for restaurants that want to offer a Latin-inspired combo.
Diners are likely familiar with tacos, burritos or quesadillas, but they may not be as familiar with tortas, a sandwich filled with meat or fish, peppers, onions, cheese and other toppings. Restaurants can serve a few different options—or choose the most popular option—for this pairing.
On Thai restaurant menus, it’s not uncommon to see a few different types of soup on offer. With the blend of several flavors, these soups offer diners a unique and interesting start to the meal. Options such as tom yum soup (hot and sour soup) or tom kha gai (a spicy and sour soup with coconut milk) are the perfect complement to noodle and rice dishes.
For diners interested in curry dishes, a combo of soup and noodles is a tasty way to get their fix. Try pairing a curry-based soup with noodle options, such as pad thai or pad see ewe, or with dishes served with rice, such as massaman curry or panang curry. Served in lunch- or half-portion sizes, it’s a combo that diners will love.
At Campbell’s Foodservice, we know you work hard to delight your guests. That’s why we work to do the same for you. We’re committed to serving products your guests trust with ingredients they recognize. We’re always innovating to make sure we deliver on the needs of not just today but tomorrow as well. Because as the seasons change, so do guests’ tastes. Our prepared soups can drive more sales for you throughout the entire year. Whether you’re refreshing your menu for fall or adding a new twist on a favorite, our soups are your key to getting the most out of each passing season.