Taking an in-depth look at consumer preferences regarding sandwiches, locally based Technomic tapped more than 700 responses, unearthing a number of notable behavioral findings, such as varying regional sandwich preferences.
"Although many chains have a national presence, the responses we received from consumers indicate that many are loyal to the regional favorites," says Eric Giandelone, editorial manager for Technomic. "Operators can benefit from knowing how the consumer decision-making process is influenced by not only the menu but also the regional influences."
Other trends noted in the 2006 Evolving Sandwich Report:
Breakfast sandwich popularity is on the rise, indicating a new opportunity for operators to increase menu items in an incrementally profitable daypart. A number of limited-service chains already offer breakfast menus, but the selection is fairly limited among those in the Sandwich category.
Consumers are increasingly seeking out higher quality ingredients in their sandwiches. Consequently, chains have responded to this trend by incorporating more premium ingredients and also by highlighting their new menu additions with descriptive names and various marketing tactics.
"By understanding the trends within the category as well as the consumer drivers behind these trends, operators will be better prepared to meet the needs of their current customers and to attract new ones," says Giandelone. "Manufacturers can understand their customers' market challenges better and create new products accordingly."
The report helps operators take advantage of emerging trends within the sandwich category, create business-building menu strategies that will appeal to specific consumers and also helps them identify new menu and product opportunities.