The idea of sitting down with someone you've never met before for food might seem intimidating to some and intriguing to others.

Either way, people in Moncton got a chance to experience “While having soup” or “le temps d'une soupe,” which is like speed dating -- minus the dating.

The concept is to bring strangers together with soup. Two people who have never met sit down together for 20 minutes and enjoy a bowl of soup, and a topic of conversation that is provided for them.

“If you're a bit shy and you're not sure if it’s going to be OK, you don't talk about the rain or the sun, you have a subject,” said Viola Lebreton.

Co-founder Annie Roy says it’s an initiative to provoke conversation in public spaces.

“To make people talk to each other, people that would not necessarily talk to each other otherwise,” Roy said.

The soup is local, but the people don't have to be.

“I think it's a good reminder that we all come from different backgrounds and we all bring different cultures and ideas to different topics,” said Claire Goldie.

Moncton is their latest pit stop, on a world tour connecting strangers.

“We went to Burkina Faso, and Lebanon, Morocco, France, Austria, Great Britain,” said Roy.

Organizers say a face-to-face conversation may seem like a simple concept, but in an age where we live glued to our phones, it's actually made people more hesitant to do so.

“We're losing the ability to talk with one another, to discuss common points, different points, to be able to talk,” said Serge Hall.

Said Larry Paschal:“Human interaction is a thing of the past. People literally say to someone ‘email, text me’ it’s like ‘wait, I'm standing right here.’ I can actually speak.”

Those who devoted their time today say it was 20 minutes well spent.

“We often don't take time to just sit down and meet new people,” said Isabelle Melancon. “This activity kind of forces you to do that.”

Roy says feedback has been positive.

“People always leave the experience with a smile on their face and something special in their heart knowing they gave that time to themselves and to the other person,” she said.

Participants take home a full belly and a keepsake photo with their newfound friend.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kate Walker.