The Versatility of Sandwiches for Delis, Prepared Food Departments and More

Who would’ve guessed that two pieces of bread with seemingly any type of meat, cheese and vegetable could have become one of the most popular foods all day round? Sandwiches are such a simple concept that prepared food departments, delis and restaurants can customize to fit the tastes of a broad consumer base, allowing them to get creative with both standard and gourmet options. The ideas for sandwiches can come from all over the food pyramid.

Rise of the Sandwich
A big reason sandwiches are popular in the various prepared foods sections is the portability of them. People can pick up lunch or even a snack that they can “grab-n-go.” A survey by Private Label Manufacturers Association (PLMA) reveals that Millennials (age 20-29) favor fresh and healthy foods the most, with prepared and portable foods as other high-ranking traits. Sandwiches combine these aspects, appealing to the large demographic of young shoppers, leading to high sales potential.

Simple Options
Sandwiches that are minimal may not be the most visually appealing, but sometimes they’re exactly what the customer needs. Consultant Jonathan Raduns cited variety packs of three slider-sized sandwiches as an innovation that piques consumers’ interest in freshness and variety. Options like these give customers versatile options with snack size sandwiches for downtime between meals or lunch options that could be added to the rest of their meal. The variety pack also helps those indecisive buyers who don’t know they want to eat and need to make a choice quickly.

Simple sandwiches expectedly use simple ingredients, making for cost-effective options for buyers on a budget and a time constraint. This also doesn’t take too much out of a store’s budget with the nominal cost of food materials, so expanding prepared food offerings to include sandwiches like these won’t be costly for business testing premade sandwiches for customers.

Not Your Standard Sandwich
However, sandwiches are popular on both ends of the spectrum. Using premium, quality ingredients is appealing to customers of all ages. Some delis and prepared food departments are experimenting with food that isn’t seen on your standard menu, with items like shrimp and bruschetta. These items have been more popular in areas where customers tend to be less considerate about price and more focused on quality. Before experimenting with unorthodox ingredients that may be more expensive, gauge your consumer base to see what they value most, since it varies from town-to-town.

Investments like these can be expensive if stores become overzealous. Start off with one premium product to see how it sells before moving on to other types of sandwich foods. Make sure the right equipment is present in your meat room, deli or any relevant department. Whether your business invests in more varieties of bread, high quality meat or exotic flavors, slicers for bread and meat, along with the right heating and merchandising equipment should be up-to-date to accommodate to any new items.

Contemporary Cuisine for the Current Consumer

Age groups seem to shed light on the interests of different demographics with all the statistics on many industries and what people are buying. Among the many numerous interests of consumers is their role in the food industry. While a person’s age group does not determine what kind of foods they like and how they prefer to eat their meals, there are strong trends that show how supermarkets can help cater to their varied customers. [Read more…]

Produce or Protein, the Organic Market Can Drive the Prepared Foods Section

With consumers becoming more health conscious due to the vast amount of information and options available to them, shoppers aren’t just looking for meals that are low in fat or calories, but rather foods that are organic. The organic food segment grew by 8.4% last year, showing customers are paying attention to what kind of food is on their plate. To give consumers choices based on the organic trend, there are various routes you could take with your meat or prepared food department. [Read more…]

Summer Grilling – Not Just for Burgers

With the summer weather showing its face, that also means grilling season has commenced. While many customers are heading outside to cook, whether it’s the park or the porch, not everyone has time to embrace the barbecue with their busy work schedule. That’s where the prepared food department at your local grocery store can fill the void. However, your standard meats alone do not satisfy the evolving tastes of the modern eater. [Read more…]

Customers, businesses appreciate locally sourced meat

Over the past few decades, the divide between eating at home and dining out has closed. Prepared foods are the culmination of this equilibrium, combining the comforts of a home-cooked meal with on-the-go convenience and an affordable price point. So it’s no surprise that, according to the 2016 The Why? Behind the Dine consumer survey from Acosta, nearly 6 out of 10 Americans have eaten ready-made meals from their local grocers and other prepared foods purveyors in the three months prior to polling. [Read more…]

Small, targeted commercial equipment investments make a big difference

What’s stopping you from investing in better, smarter cooking or baking equipment for your commercial kitchen? Is it money? Is it space? Or is it plain old why-mess-with-a-good-thing inertia?

We’re not about to stop store managers who feel inclined to remodel their kitchens top to bottom. Still, business owners and decision-makers must know a large-scale, costly upgrade is no guarantee of success or even turnaround from past failings. A targeted approach, one that focuses on unique struggles and goals, has a greater potential to return in spades what a team puts into it. What are examples of such a method, and why do they work as well as they do? [Read more…]

Equipment must-haves for supermarket breakfast menus

Who doesn’t love breakfast? Yet even the meal we’ve long dubbed “most important” has seen a noticeable boom in popularity over the last year, particularly when it comes to the breakfast options offered at deli counters, supermarkets and grocery stores across the country.

Earlier this year, Progressive Grocer reported annual sales increases for deli-prepared breakfast items like sandwiches (14.2 percent), quiche (17.9 percent) and combo plates (17.2 percent) between February 2015 and 2016. Interestingly enough, omelet sales from the prepared foods department grew more than 210 percent in that same timeframe. [Read more…]

2017 meat forecast: What’s happening with your proteins?

Butchers everywhere always want to know which meats make the cut for consumers and which ones are on the proverbial chopping block. By adjusting their inventories accordingly, butchers can turn a good profit and reduce their chances of overspending on unpopular products.

That means it’s time for a quick protein-powered update on upcoming pricing trends in meat, which will in turn affect sales at your supermarket, delicatessen or independent butchery in 2017. [Read more…]

Optimize your baking operations for cookies Grandma would envy [w/ Infographic]

What is it about the drop in temperature that makes the smell of fresh-baked cookies all the more enticing?

Pumpkin spice shortbread, cinnamon snickerdoodles, iced sugar cookies in fun holiday shapes or even the classic chocolate chip — foodies can’t get enough of these delicious treats this time of year. But even though supermarkets with bakery sections are happy to serve up happiness by the dozen, their traditional commercial baking equipment might stand in the way of perfect cookie execution. [Read more…]

Demonstrate nutritional awareness in your prepared foods department with these 3 suggestions [w/ Infographic]

Why do shoppers choose prepared foods from their local supermarkets over restaurant and fast-food fare? If you ask the Food Marketing Institute, menu diversity has led to $15 billion in industry growth over the last eight years and cemented the perception that prepared foods are a fresher, healthier alternative to traditional dining options. [Read more…]