Are you trying to find a lunch menu option that’s quick to prepare, easy to serve, healthy and still affordable? Look no further than the sandwich. This consistent mealtime staple, which has seen 4% sales growth since last year, is a popular menu and cafeteria option. It’s customizable, adaptable and has endless creative possibilities.
Whether open-faced, wrapped or served at breakfast, the sandwich has widespread appeal across all ages and cultures. In foodservice settings, sandwiches represent over 1.2 billion annual servings. Let’s take a look at some current sandwich trends and see where this beloved food is headed in 2010.
Portability: Rather than big, sloppy sandwiches, customers are asking for wraps or mini sandwiches that are easier to eat on-the-go. Tucking contents neatly into small wraps or buns makes for a convenient dripless mini-meal in the foodservice setting. Offer a Curried Beef Wrap or Mini Mango Turkey Bun that customers can take “to-go.”
Breakfast: Sandwich offerings aren’t just for lunch anymore. In fact, NPD data shows that the largest growing sandwich segment is “breakfast sandwiches,” which hold a 23% market share of total sandwich servings. No lunchtime sandwich comes close to that number (grilled chicken sandwiches are the next most popular choice with a 14% market share)! Breakfast sandwiches gained an incremental 22.1 million servings over last year. Serve up a delicious breakfast Ham Omelette Bun and watch your profits soar.
Upscale fixings: Artisan breads and gourmet sandwich ingredients are popular at many restaurants, sandwich bars and cafeterias. Imported cheeses such as Brie, Chevre and Asiago are being offered alongside of standard Swiss and Cheddar, and premium toppings, such as roasted red pepper and sundried tomatoes are becoming popular. Offer a delicious Sundried Tomato Ham Wrap.
Ethnic sandwich ideas: Countries around the globe have their own versions of the sandwich – and many of these concoctions have become North American menu staples. The popular Mexican torta, Italian panini and the banh mi from Vietnam are often found on cafeteria menus and at fast-casual dining restaurants. Go global with these ethnic-inspired dishes: Mexican Roast Beef Wrap or Middle-Eastern Grilled Turkey Pita.
Hot sandwiches: While sandwiches with hot meat on cold bread (think roast beef and gravy) have been around awhile, the newer trend for cafeterias is to serve the whole sandwich hot – including the bread. The “sandwich press” is becoming as indispensable a kitchen tool as the ubiquitous knife. Ingredients are stacked between two slices of bread and “pressed” to melted perfection. Try serving a warm Chevre Turkey Panini.
Healthy: From fibre-rich whole grain bread to sodium-reduced meats, sandwich offerings are expanding to meet the needs of health-conscious consumers. Other trends are towards more grilled items (rather than deep-fried), and offering an array of fresh vegetable and fruit toppings including avocado, apple and peppers. Try Sunshine Ham Wraps, which are made with whole grain tortillas and include mandarin oranges as a topping. For more tips on healthy sandwich options, read the article below.