Consumed by our ancestors for thousands of years, broth is a nutrient rich food that’s rising in popularity and prized for its healing attributes. With this trend simmering over the past couple of years, broth concepts are beginning to pop up across the country, presenting operators with great opportunity to showcase this cost effective, under-exploited category. Consumers are eager to slurp down this dietary powerhouse for its endless health benefits, so consider how it can be incorporated into items across your menu to build flavor profiles, drive foot traffic, and increase profitability.
Broth boasts one of the most complete nutritional profiles of any food, providing the body tremendous amounts of phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, protein, and gelatin content. Th e volume of collagen in broth is also a big draw for consumers. Collagen, the most abundant protein in the body, contains restorative amino acids that are calming and believed to reduce stress, improve concentration, and promote sleep. Consuming broth is also thought to heal the gut, support healthy joints, boost the immune system, aid the digestive system, soothe inflamed joints, and rejuvenate hair, skin, and nails. With health and wellness top of mind for numerous consumers, the buzz of broth and its health-forward abilities can attract diners. Broth is a favorable ingredient especially for those who struggle with food allergies and other food-related illnesses. The gelatin in broth helps stabilize and heal the gut, which is not a treatment but is often found to relieve some symptoms. Making menu mentions of “food allergy safe” or getting creative with menu names related to “gut-healing” items can make a positive impact on customers who will appreciate your acknowledgment of their dietary needs.
Customers are captivated by broth because it’s an investment in their health. If your operation continually serves this health-centric item, it can drive customers to depend on your establishment for a healing and rejuvenating experience. Just like coffee, broth can become a go-to for consumers to get their broth fix with fewer afternoon jitters and more positive results. Broth can also be a quick-and easy way for consumers to increase their protein intake, especially if they take a broth beverage on the go. Draw attention to this by listing broth beverages as protein-rich on your menu and offering broths to go. It’s also a favored ingredient because it utilizes several cuts of animals including legs, thighs, and feet, promoting sustainability and reducing waste – two strong concerns for today’s consumer.
Add Broth to Your Menu
Capitalize on the broth trend by using it to heighten the nutritional value and the appeal of items across your menu. Substitute water, butter, or oils with broth to add depth of flavor to menu items. Slurping this restorative beverage from a cup is one of the latest trending methods of consuming broth. Offer broth as a healthy beverage or slurpable soup option, and just like a coffee house or a juice shop, have customers choose add-ins and enhancements to deepen its character. Broth’s flavor and texture blend well with other earthy ingredients; try adding it to vegetable-based smoothies as you would typically add ice or water. Broth is incredibly rich and satisfying on its own, but with additions such as vegetables, oils, purées, herbs, and spices, customers will feel more satisfied and the meal will feel more filling.
Use broth to showcase seasonal components and flavor profiles such as a spring broth with lemongrass, chives, and mint or a summer broth featuring summer squash, onions, and basil. Signature bowls present the perfect platform for emphasizing the nutritional value and flavor of broth. Capitalize on consumers’ love for breakfast and expand your healthy morning offerings with a broth breakfast bowl featuring bone broth, a poached egg, mushrooms, garlic, and optional add-ins. Pho and ramen, two on-trend Asian-style soups, are optimal for highlighting the richness of broth. Unique proteins, pickled vegetables, and crunchy elements can add a depth of texture, flavor, and intrigue to these dishes.
Broth on Menus
Marco Canora, James Beard Award winner, started a bone broth revival with Brodo, a walk-up bone broth window in New York City. Consumers can order four main broths: chicken, beef, Hearth (made with chicken, turkey, and beef bones), and seaweed mushroom all made from organic poultry and local, grass-fed beef bones.
Cultured Caveman in Portland, OR, began as the first paleo-friendly food cart on the west coast, and
now operates a food cart and a brick and mortar restaurant that caters to those with food allergies or
restrictions. They serve grass-fed beef bone broth as a soup offering with carrots, celery, shallots, apple
cider vinegar, and sea salt.
Red Apron, located in Virginia and Washington D.C., cooks their beef and pork broth for 36 hours and
chicken broth for 24 hours. They serve it in a cup with an optional sachet of fresh spice blends including
lemon and thyme; turmeric, orange, and cinnamon; basil, ginger, jalapeño, and lime; and fennel, oregano,
lemon, garlic, and chili fl akes.
Asian Box located across northern and southern California prides themselves on their “farm-to-box”
mantra, utilizing fresh, sustainable ingredients and offering bone broth in a dish called “Gracie’s Grandma’s
Pho” with classic bone broth, grilled chicken, rice noodles, and traditional pho accompaniments.