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Sandwich Eaters Crave More Variety: Study

New research from foodservice consultancy Technomic found that though preferences for traditional sandwiches remain strong, consumers are looking for greater variety in sandwich ingredients available from limited- and full-service restaurants.

A survey of more than 1,500 consumers revealed that over one-third (39 percent) of those eating at LSRs (limited service restaurants) and 51 percent at FSRs (full service restaurants) were not fully satisfied with available sandwich options, wanting new and unique ingredient offerings, flavors, and combinations.

Technomic's Sandwich Consumer Trend Report combines the results of extensive quantitative consumer research, menu analysis from its proprietary MenuMonitor database, and restaurant data from its Top 500 Report to generate timely insights into the sandwich segment.

Among the more interesting findings of the report:
-- Sandwiches continue to be a strong mainstay of restaurant fare, making up 31 percent of all limited-service restaurant entrees and 15 percent of entrees at full-service restaurants.
-- Bold flavor profiles and the use of artisanal and premium breads, ingredients, and sandwich spreads are growing trends in sandwich differentiation. The sandwich concept itself allows for a great deal of innovation as well as portability to meet the needs of consumers on the go.
-- The sandwich segment is appealing to health-conscious consumers through offering high-quality, fresh, local, and organic ingredients. Consumer interest in healthy sandwich ingredients continues to grow, with 44 percent of consumers wanting sandwiches made with locally grown ingredients and 30 percent with organic ingredients.
--Sandwiches, once viewed as lunch fare, are important to all dayparts. Toasted sandwiches and paninis are increasing in popularity as entree options in the dinner daypart, while the portability of breakfast sandwiches boosts breakfast daypart sales. Sandwiches are also gaining ground in the growing away-from-home snacking segment.
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