These aren’t the sandwiches Momma made. Consumers today expect more options, bigger variety and high quality in menued sandwich items. They are following the Sensory Appeal™ trend and demanding restaurants offer creative sandwich solutions to earn their bread.
The numbers have it when it comes to the sandwich trend. According to foodservice industry consultant Technomic’s 2010 Sandwich Consumer Trend Report, consumers love sandwiches. In fact, 93 percent of them eat at least one sandwich per week. A large majority of those are purchased away from home, too – 81 percent in one 60-day period researched by Technomic.
With this huge portion of the buying power being focused on sandwiches, operators should pay attention to the changing consumer appetites.
Fast food operators have paid attention. Burger King recently added its first stuffed burger, appealing to consumer desire for new taste combinations. The new menu item put the quick service restaurant into a competitive slot with its fast casual counterparts, possibly stealing a few orders away from their sandwich market.
To whet the appetites of its Clockless™ customers, Subway has not only ramped up the variety offered to the lunch and dinner crowd. The QSR has also blended breakfast sandwiches into its menu. By offering more variety and options to the sandwich-buying market, Subway is sure to draw in larger volumes of customers from every daypart.
Quality is also key. Technomic reports that 86 percent of consumers believe meat quality is important to building a great sandwich. While most consumers still expect excellent meats to be piled high on their sandwiches, some prefer no meat at all – but that doesn’t mean they will sacrifice the quality of ingredients they choose to eat. Endless Simmer’s report on America’s Top 10 New Sandwiches has a vegetarian creation taking the No. 2 spot with a Brussels Sprouts Sandwich.
Check back on FoodChannel.com for the ongoing sandwich trend updates.