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4 warm-weather strategies for boosting soup sales

Soup’s warming heartiness makes it a no-brainer for many consumers looking to escape the chill during the winter. But soup’s versatility makes it a delicious way for operators to boost profitability through the warmer months as well.

Here are a few tips for menuing seasonally appropriate soups throughout the spring and summer.

Go lighter

Healthier soups are a great way to keep consumers craving soup past winter—broth-based options such as minestrone (which is also packed with veggies), as well as lighter bisque-style soups such as tomato play well while it’s warmer.

Superfoods are a great hook as well, as better-for-you options are popular during times when diners are prioritizing health—ingredients such as quinoa, spinach, kale or spirulina are perfect for boosting the health factor of soups in spring and summer. Offer up Italian vegetable soup with farro, for instance, or black bean with red quinoa soup.

Menu unique flavors

Seasonal soups and unique flavors provide something unexpected for soup lovers. While comfort foods might reign supreme during winter, unique flavors could win out during warmer months. As consumers seek out more intense flavors, spicy soups could be popular. Spicy soups are especially appealing to younger diners—Technomic’s 2018 Soup and Salad report finds that 37% of millennials say they prefer to order soups with spicy flavors. Try menuing options such as spicy chorizo or pulled chicken with black bean soup or Thai-style chicken soups.

Premium garnishes

Another way to get customers excited about ordering soup is by making it customizable with unique garnishes. Technomic’s Soup and Salad report finds that 69% of consumers are more likely to purchase (with 38% willing to pay more for) soup that’s topped with high-quality garnishes. Consider setting up a garnish bar or offering two complementary garnishes for each soup order; garnishes could include cheeses, crackers or crispy tortilla strips, avocado, bacon bits, sour cream, seasonal veggies such as asparagus, corn or tomato and more.

Snack-size and portable soups

According to Technomic’s Soup and Salad report, 34% of consumers agree that it’s important for soup to be easy to take on the go. Selling soup in cups with sipping lids is perfect for consumption while traveling. And because people might be buying soup on-the-go rather than sitting down for a full meal, operators can consider offering smaller portion sizes for snackers, too.

In fact, 17% of consumers say they are likely to order soup as a snack, compared to just 11% in 2015. Appetizer-size soups are a great way to increase order frequency, too, as 32% of consumers say they’re likely to order soup as an appetizer at lunch or dinner. This way, soup doesn’t have to be the main attraction and is perfect for diners who want a little soup alongside their full meal.

Menuing soup year-round is easy, and attracting consumers during warmer seasons doesn’t have to be difficult. With a little planning and creativity, operators will be selling soup all spring and summer long.

This post is sponsored by Campbell's Foodservice

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