Sandwich Lovers Unite

By / Food / August 16th, 2012 / 2


I truly believe that the sandwich is one of the most spectacular inventions known to humanity. I don’t believe, for even a minute, that the Earl of Sandwich invented the form back in the 18thC. The English version might have taken his name, but every culture around the world has its own idea of what constitutes a great sandwich. Wherever there has been some kind of holder (bread, tortilla, rice paper, lettuce, whatever), there has been the sandwich.

Breakfast, lunch, dinner – it doesn’t actually matter, does it? Anytime is the right time. What’s your favourite kind of sandwich? I love the combination of fresh Italian bread drizzled with a bit of olive oil, layered with prosciutto, a few slices of fresh tomato, one lettuce leaf and a sprig of basil. Awesome.

Recently, Technomic surveyed consumers to find out what type of entrée is their number one choice for lunch and dinner. It turns out that sandwiches are the cornerstone at both limited- and full-service restaurants, where they are offered more than any other entree. More consumers report purchasing sandwiches away from home today vs. just two years ago due in large part to operators becoming increasingly innovative and responsive to consumers’ demand for lower prices, greater variety, fresher fare, flexible portions and healthier items.

“Today’s consumer expects greater customization and broader sandwich options,” says Executive Vice President Darren Tristano. “Trends in portion flexibility, variety, freshness and shareability have come to the forefront of this segment. Shareable options give operators a chance to go beyond the standard menu and try new ethnic sandwiches. Often these ethnic and next-level sandwiches, which focus on gourmet
ingredients and toppings, are introduced through mini sandwiches or wraps. Giving consumers smaller, shareable portion options can be considered as healthier with less calories. This trend shows no signs of slowing down.”

Here’s the Breakdown

  • 28 percent of consumers would like more mini-sandwich offerings at restaurants, up from 23 percent in 2010, signaling a greater need for portable and convenient meal options.
  • Gourmet grilled cheese sandwiches continue to take off. This simple sandwich staple is getting an update, as whole concepts are being built on the appeal of high-end, high-quality grilled cheese.
  • Pitas are the top sandwich bread on limited service menus.  Limited-service chains also make frequent use of Panini breads and bagels, while full-service brands veer toward tortillas and buns.
  • Over half of consumers polled (51 percent) say they purchase grab-and-go sandwiches, this up from 36 percent just two years ago.

Looking at the small things that make life great and the people who create them.

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