E.A. Sween scores with new sandwich offerings, driven by consumer demand

April 24, 2024
As a family-owned company since 1955, E.A. Sween is an iconic food company that micro market and vending operators have come to depend on. Its newest selections are being well-received by both operators and consumers.

According to Jeff Kjome, VP of marketing at E.A. Sween, his company’s newest sandwich offerings, just released in February, are in line with what consumers are selecting in their favorite sandwich shops. For operators, that thoughtful approach means menu items that will resonate in micro markets and with vending customers.

“We do a good amount of consumer and marketplace research on both our existing and our new product ideas in order to better understand broader culinary trends and category data, and we also take into account customer input. So that takes place on a regular basis to optimize existing items and provides insight into new business opportunities. When it comes to taste testing, we are regularly taking our sandwiches, putting them in front of consumers and getting reactions,” said Kjome.

Their research led to the development of some new, but classic offerings that will be on display and available for taste testing at the upcoming NAMA Show in Dallas. E.A. Sween will be in booth 1049.

New addition to Deli Express

From its Deli Express flagship heritage brand, known for quality at a fair price, E.A. Sween has introduced a classic variety and familiar flavor – a thin-sliced Roast Beef and American Cheese Sandwich on white bread. “Deli Express has been around for over 50 years, and this classic roast beef sandwich is in line with what Deli Express customers enjoy – it brings the comfort back to comfort food,” Kjome said.

New Market Sandwich selections

Three new subs have been added to the E.A. Sween’s Market Sandwich brand, which Kjome notes is geared toward consumers who are seeking a more premium eating experience. “These subs use premium meats, cheeses, sauces and bread to deliver on that expectation,” he added.

“We took a deep look at consumer trends, and we've seen consistent growth in the number of sub shops and chains that have been established over the past several years. There’s been a nice growth trajectory in the area of subs overall,” Kjome noted. “In the past, we have introduced subs that have sold well. We thought the time was right to introduce a line of prepackaged subs that delivered on great taste and convenient packaging, that were ready for immediate eating.”

Accordingly, Kjome said that E.A. Sween introduced three popular flavors that are currently experiencing increasing popularity in sub shops – an Italian sub, a turkey sub and a ham variety.

Kjome outlined the specifics of each new sub sandwich:

  • The Smoked Ham and Swiss Cheese Sub is a combination that has been trusted and savored since the beginning of sandwiches. Ham and cheese have been around forever. The smoked ham flavor complements the creamy Swiss cheese to really satisfy consumers' cravings and leaving them wanting more.
  • The Smoked White Turkey and Provolone Cheese Sub offers another classic combination of flavors, with a balance of smoked white turkey meat and provolone cheese that help create a taste that consumers crave on a regular basis.
  • The Italian Style Sub features a special Italian-style sauce, which really puts the cap on the layers of premium meats in the sandwich, including spicy ham, Genoa salami and pepperoni. Add in the smooth richness of provolone cheese and the tang of the Italian-style sauce, and the result is an Italian-style sandwich that consumers will love.


High protein

Kjome pointed out that when it comes to building these sandwiches, the focus was to deliver on two things. First, the sandwiches had to taste great. Second, was convenience. Also, each of the sub sandwiches has over 20 grams of protein. “That's an added benefit, a high amount of protein,” he said. “With the Deli Express roast beef sandwich in particular, consumers are getting a traditional-style quality sandwich that they can easily eat on the go, but all of that for only 280 calories. For those who are watching their calorie count, it's definitely a nice option. In fact, all of these sandwiches are under 500 calories.”


Kjome said the feedback from consumers indicates that they feel satisfied and full after enjoying the sandwiches. “So, for sandwiches that range from 280 to 490 calories, they're getting a great-tasting product that fills them up and is going to last them for several hours,” he added.

Art and science

“There's definitely both an art and the science that goes into making a sandwich that gets frozen, then slacked, and sold refrigerated,” Kjome explained. “All of our products undergo extensive R&D development before launch. We have a full team of food scientists that are working on our sandwiches. In addition to taste and convenience, we also look at several attributes beyond that, both in a fresh state, a frozen state and a refrigerated state. Those include texture, taste and appearance – three key measures that help make that optimal sandwich.”

Convenient packaging

For operators, Kjome said that these sandwiches offer a great convenience benefit for operators, because they are ready to serve, and waste is minimized compared to fresh sandwiches. “Our products are good up to 30 days after they're slacked, because our modified atmosphere packaging takes the oxygen level down and makes the sandwich taste fresher longer. Most consumers don’t have shelf life on the top of their mind, they just want a fresh-tasting sandwich, and that is exactly what we provide, for consumers who are on the go, eating throughout the day,” he said.

How to learn more

Kjome said that operators interested in learning more should reach out to their local E.A. Sween sales representative. If they don't know who their representative is, they can visit www.easweenfoods.com, submit their contact information, and they will be contacted promptly.  



Bob Tullio is a content specialist, speaker, sales trainer, consultant and a contributing editor of Automatic Merchandiser/VendingMarketWatch.com. He advises entrepreneurs on how to build a successful business from the ground up and specializes in helping suppliers connect with operators in the convenience services industry – coffee service, vending, micro markets and pantry service specifically. 

Subscribe to Automatic Merchandiser's podcast, Vending & OCS Nation, hosted by Tullio and designed to make your business more profitable.

Tullio can be reached at 818-261-1758 and [email protected].

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