The good news is that sandwiches continue to grow in popularity. The even better news is that there are many ways to gain more fans and return visits—and it doesn't require adding all new sandwiches to the menu.
According to a recent Datassentials study, the following ingredients and flavors standout as some of the best ways to excite and entice guests today.
When it comes to proteins, 51% of consumers are interested in premium meat offerings on their sandwiches—such as braised pork and beef, unique sausages, and cured meats. If it's a deli sandwich, make sure to have turkey; it's preferred 45% versus ham at 35% or roast beef at 35%. Meatless alternatives are also on the rise.
Premium cheeses such as smoked cheese, goat cheese, aged cheddar, and manchego are a few of the offerings consumers are looking for. Manchego, a firm, buttery Parmesan substitute has increased in menu incidences 154% since 2012, and freshly sliced cheese is a top priority for consumers
When it comes to breads, wheat/multigrain continues to lead as the most common sandwich carrier with white bread following closely behind. However, 35% of consumers are interested in sprouted grain breads for their sandwiches—it's a step beyond the traditional whole grain and adds a level of premium perception.
Toppings and condiments are still a must-have. 77% of sandwiches contain at least one type of condiment with mayo leading the pack. Pickled toppings are showing up on sandwiches, everything from onions, jalapeños, and radishes, sometimes paired with a creamy cheese or sauce.
Bahn Mi is one of the fastest growing menu terms for independent sandwich operators, up 356% in the past four years.
Ethnic flavors and formats are gaining more and more fans. Among the fastest growing ingredients and flavors on sandwich menus are naan, telera, kim chee, hosin and other ethnic ingredients. And, in terms of global sandwich varieties, cemita, torta, kati rolls, molletes, and butifarra are the most popular.
|Type of Sandwich||Chip Pairing|
|Mexican||Jalapeno, Sea Salt Original|
|Italian||Sea Salt Original, Sea Salt & Vinegar|
|Asian||Sea Salt Original, Sea Salt & Vinegar, Jalapeno|
|American||Sea Salt Original, Sea Salt & Vinegar, Jalapeno, Smokehouse BBQ, Farmhouse White Cheddar|
|Cuban||Sea Salt Original, Sea Salt & Vinegar, Jalapeno|
Datassentials Sandwiches, May 2017