Portable, affordable and deliciously eatable, sandwiches are a staple of consumers’ at-home and away-from-home diets. But because of their increasingly busy lifestyles, there has been an increase in the percentage of sandwiches purchased away from home. According to Technomic, two in five of the sandwiches consumers eat are sourced away from home, presenting operators a huge opportunity to increase sales.

“About 15% of consumers purchased sandwiches at c-stores in the last 90 days. (Technomic, Sandwich CTR, 2019)

Grab ‘n’ go sandwich options are becoming more popular as many consumers frequently seek quick options while they are on-the-go. More specifically, prepackaged options appeal to on-the-go millennials, due to the fact that most consumers are looking for speedy, on the go alternatives. In fact, about 44% of consumers purchase pre-prepared sandwiches from convenience or retail locations. (Technomic, Sandwich CTR, 2019)

What’s Trending in Sandwiches?

What’s the latest on the menu for sandwiches? Being a very versatile meal item allows sandwiches to evolve into many forms. As operators move away from strictly classic fare, and turn up their creativity, a difference has become evident between younger and older consumers’ preferences. Consider:

  • While convenience, taste and cravings are key sandwich purchase drivers, there is also perception among younger consumers that sandwiches are a healthy option, probably because more and more operators are creating sandwiches that include better-for-you ingredients. Therefore, adapting even more sandwiches to younger consumers’ health definitions could be an opportunity for increasing sales.
  • The taste and quality of sandwiches are important across dayparts. Portability is more important at breakfast than other dayparts, while the ability to customize is more important at dinner than at breakfast or lunch.
  • Meats are usually seen as the most important sandwich component. However, more younger than older consumers prioritize bread, cheese, sauces and toppings. This suggests that younger consumers take a more holistic look at sandwiches.

‒Younger consumers are driving demand for more unique and ethnic sandwiches, particularly those with Asian or Mexican influences, relating to their general interest in trying new flavors.

Technomic, Sandwich CTR, 2019

What are selling big in C-Stores?

According to CSP, since many consumers are acquiring their meals away from home, convenience stores are adapting to their desires for new and different. Some popular items include:

  • Brisket sandwiches- The fastest growing type of sandwich in convenience stores. They are especially popular with the summer months as BBQ is on everyone’s mind.
  • Salami – The second fastest rising sandwich variety in C-stores, salami has grown in popularity with the growth of Italian subs and paninis.

Smithfield Culinary has the extensive portfolio of products that are perfect for building your sandwich business. For more information, contact your Smithfield Culinary representative, or call 888-327-6526.

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