From the “wild salmon-ich” at Jason’s Deli and the sourdough cheesesteak melt at Jack in the Box, to the Omni Hotel’s Moroccan-inspired chicken musakhan sandwich featuring chicken thighs, house-made ketchup and a sumac-garam masala spice blend, the sandwich has been re-imagined.
Sandwiches are the most menued entrée items across all operator segments and cuisine types, confirms data from Technomic, and the trend shows no sign of slowing down. Now an “anytime” meal item, Technomic's Sandwich Consumer Trend Report notes that from 2010 through September, 2012, sandwiches beat out the next popular items, main salads and pizza, by a large margin. Sandwich chains are expanding, and within the Technomic Top 150 fared much better than their limited-service counterparts.
More consumers report purchasing sandwiches away from home today vs. just two years ago, due in large part to operators' innovative responses to consumer demands for lower prices, greater variety, fresher fare, flexible portions and healthier items. Sandwiches also fit in well with the Millennials’ craving for portability.
Leading fast-casual sandwich chains are just as likely to offer premium ingredients and toppings and upscale artisan breads, wraps and buns for sandwiches, as they are a sesame roll and mayo. Also influencing the mix are new global and regional specialties with revised takes on the classics. Gluten-free options are becoming more prevalent as well.