Quality Is Increasingly Important To The Sandwich Category, Reveals New Technomic Study

May 20, 2014

Chicago, PRNewswire, May 19, 2014 — Sandwich consumption is high; on average, consumers eat more than three sandwiches per week. However, 54 percent of consumers (up from 51 percent two years ago), indicate they are preparing sandwiches themselves. This means operators and suppliers will need to focus on hard-to-duplicate menu items to entice consumers to purchase more sandwiches away from home.

Zeroing in on the quality of their sandwich ingredients is also essential. Compared to two years ago, today's consumers place higher importance on quality and quantity, as well as the appetizing appearance of sandwich ingredients. Up-and-comers in the fast-casual segment like Jimmy Johns, Firehouse Subs and Jersey Mike's have capitalized on these demands and are successfully competing for share of stomach with the dominant larger players like Subway.

"Quality sandwich ingredients are a must," said Darren Tristano, Executive Vice President of Technomic, Inc. "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."

To help foodservice executives understand the latest behaviors, preferences and attitudes of consumers regarding sandwiches, Technomic has published an update of its Sandwich Consumer Trend Report. Interesting findings include:

  • Sandwiches fill the need for fast, convenient and portable meal options: 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)
  • Further, just 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 would also like more restaurants to offer mini sandwiches (35 percent agree, up from just 26 percent in 2010)

Technomic's Sandwich Consumer Trend Report provides comprehensive research on the latest menu and consumer trends for restaurant sandwiches, organized into five sections:

Menu Insights—utilizes Technomic's exclusive MenuMonitor data to reveal menu-development trends for sandwiches at Top 500 restaurant chains, as well as sandwich chains in the limited-service segment.

Consumer Insights—analyzes consumer preferences and attitudes toward sandwiches, based on findings from a nationally representative survey of 1,500 U.S. consumers.

Competitive Insights—examines consumer perceptions of attributes important to the sandwich category, including healthy options, high-quality, fresh options, value and variety, at 25 leading limited-service chains offering sandwiches.

Outlook: Trends to Watch—explores emerging menu, concept and consumer trends that are poised to impact how restaurant operators promote sandwiches in the future.

Profiles—appendices feature in-depth profiles for 10 trend-setting foodservice brands featuring menus and service formats that are positioned around sandwiches.

Technomic publishes a complete library of consumer trend reports. To learn more, please visit Technomic.com or contact one of the individuals listed below. For Technomic updates, please follow us on TwitterLinkedIn or our blog.