As sandwich demand rises, consumers want differentiation, quality
On average, consumers eat more than three sandwiches a week, according to new research from Technomic. However, more consumers are preparing sandwiches themselves than they were two years ago — 54 percent to 51 percent, respectively.
Technomic says this means operators and suppliers will need to focus on hard-to-duplicate menu items and focus on the quality of their ingredients to entice consumers to purchase more sandwiches away from home.
Brands such as Jimmy Johns, Firehouse Subs and Jersey Mike's have capitalized on these demands and are successfully competing for market share with larger players like Subway.
"Quality sandwich ingredients are a must," Technomic EVP Darren Tristano said in a news release. "In order for sandwich operators to drive traffic and steal share, they have to strengthen the quality perception by promoting freshness and customization opportunities, while giving guests a more interesting range of toppings, breads and proteins that emphasize variety."
Highlights from Technomic’s new Sandwich Consumer Trend Report include:
- Three out of every five sandwiches (61 percent) that consumers order are taken to go, and 49 percent of consumers sometimes purchase grab-and-go sandwiches;
- Most consumers place high importance on health for sandwiches at lunch (51 percent) and dinner (53 percent);
- Only 43 percent are satisfied with the healthfulness of sandwiches away from home, while 50 percent would like to see more healthy sides to pair with sandwiches;
- Diners want more restaurants to offer mini sandwiches (35 percent agree, up from just 26 percent in 2010).