Bob Tullio’s Product Perspective: E.A. Sween gives operators a competitive advantage with premium breakfast sandwiches

May 12, 2021
A closer look at products, equipment and services that will impact an operator’s business

The product: Market Sandwich breakfast sandwiches

As an experienced micro market operator, I saw the positive impact that breakfast foods had on micro market sales. Unfortunately, we could never compete directly with those tasty and fashionable breakfast sandwiches that were often just a short walk away from the workplace. Too often, we saw our customers standing in long lines at Starbucks and other bean stores, waiting patiently for those coveted breakfast sandwiches.

A level playing field

With the February debut of Market Sandwich breakfast sandwiches, the playing field has been leveled. Operators can finally compete in the business of selling those highly profitable premium breakfast sandwiches.

“We have launched premium breakfast sandwiches that are comparable in quality to what customers are accustomed to buying in high end coffee houses,” said Abby Ostlund, brand and innovation marketing manager at E.A. Sween Co., a 65-year-old entity that is well known for multiple sandwich products, including Deli Express and their fast-growing Market Sandwiches, an artisan styled variety.

“It made sense to introduce these premium breakfast sandwiches under our Market Sandwich brand,” Ostlund said. “These artisan breakfast sandwiches use the highest-quality products and were designed with consumer preferences in mind.”

Bread choice is key

E.W. Sween put great emphasis on the bread selection for its premium breakfast sandwiches. “In a micro market, we know that these sandwiches are going to be microwaved. We did a lot of testing and made bread selections that were among the top trending varieties that were able to hold up nicely after being microwaved,” Ostlund said.

My taste tests

Since it is my (dream) job, I tasted each of the Market Sandwich breakfast sandwiches. The bread selections held up very well after microwaving and the sandwiches were incredibly flavorful. The breakfast sandwiches are a product to showcase during sales presentations that involve a taste test.

A thoughtful approach

According to Ostlund, there is a strategy behind each sandwich, with each variety meeting a specific consumer want and need.

Bob’s favorite: Turkey Sausage, Egg & Cheese on a Focaccia Roll.

The strategy: It is a “better-for-you” option! Nearly two-thirds of consumers (63%) said they want convenience outlets to offer more healthy foods, and 44% of 18- to 34-year-old consumers say they think about health and nutrition when they purchase prepared food items.

My wife Peg’s favorite: Omelet with Ham & Cheese on a Croissant.

The strategy: Croissant sandwiches are the most preferred breakfast item in c-stores.

Exotic and tasty: Sausage & Jalapeno Bacon with Egg & Cheese on a Biscuit.

The strategy: Bacon is the No. 1 protein in breakfast sandwiches; sausage is No. 3 with 5% growth over the past four years. Biscuits as a breakfast sandwich carrier have shown 30% growth over the past four years.

Vegetarian’s choice: Egg, Cheese & Green Chili Salsa on a Ciabatta Roll

The strategy: Vegetarian, because it is important to offer vegetarian breakfast options to meet increasingly diverse diets and preferences, especially to draw in younger consumers who drive demand for these offerings. And estimated 29% of foodservice operators say they currently offer vegetarian or vegan breakfast options.

Excellent shelf life

Each sandwich is wrapped in craft paper with a large window for product visibility and is placed in a cardboard tray. The sandwiches are frozen when delivered to operators and have a 14-day shelf life after being thawed.

Breakfast’s strong upward trend

Breakfast sales are booming, increasing year after year,” said Ostlund. “Our Market Sandwich Premium Breakfast Sandwiches give operators a chance to capitalize - to add new sales in their vending and micro market locations.”

Bob’s Perspective: Why Market Sandwich Premium breakfast sandwiches make sense for operators

Research. E.A. Sween points to extensive studies in the convenience-store industry to identify trends that will carry over to vending and micro market locations. All the research on consumer breakfast trends points to success for their premium breakfast sandwiches. Plus, they taste great, have an excellent shelf life and the product cost is reasonable.

Profitability of breakfast. Convenience-store operators rate breakfast as the most profitable part of their daytime business. Studies show that 45% of c-store consumers purchase breakfast at least once a week. The demand is clearly there for the taking.

Driven by consumer preferences. E.A. Sween did its homework on the development of the Market Sandwich Premium breakfast sandwich line. According to Ostland, Datassential’s latest Breakfast Sandwich Trend report said that the popularity of morning sandwiches continues to rise, especially in these three categories:

  • Healthy tastes: Egg whites, fresh vegetables, all-natural ingredients and lean protein varieties are rising in popularity, especially among women.
  • Heat and spice: From peppered cheeses and spicy sauces to meats that bring more heat.
  • Morning indulgence: Ingredients that deliver savory sweetness, gourmet cheeses and indulgent carriers like pancakes and waffles.

Success of the Market Sandwich brand

Market Sandwich is focusing on the consumer who wants a premium product and the strategy is working. Their Premium Breakfast Sandwiches give operators an opportunity to benefit from the strong preference trend.

High-quality, indulgent and convenient

In the newly repopulated workplaces, your clients and their employees will be happy to avoid making an extra stop to a fast-food restaurant, a convenience store or taking a walk to stand in line at the local coffee house.

By offering Market Sandwich Premium Breakfast Sandwiches, operators finally have a realistic opportunity of capturing those breakfast dollars from consumers who crave a high-quality, indulgent and convenient breakfast sandwich.

For more information on Market Sandwich Premium breakfast sandwiches, visit the  E.A. Sween website. If you would like to speak to an E.A. Sween representative, reach out to Rod Burk, national sales manager of  vending, at [email protected] or (850) 322-7869.


[Credit: Cheesewich]
Colby Product Package Plate New Primary

Bob Tullio’s Product Perspective – Keto Diet helps make CHEESEWICH the MVP for vending and micro market operators

April 7, 2021
A closer look at products, equipment and services that will impact an operator’s business
[Photo: Jack Link's]
Jack Links Wild And Zero

Bob Tullio’s Product Perspective: Jack Link’s is on target with new products, new formula for 2021

Jan. 20, 2021
A closer look at products, equipment and services that will impact an operator’s business