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…]

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…]

Rethink deli platters for greater market potential

These days, office managers hosting catered meetings, small events or work parties always have one eye on fun and the other on the budget. As such, supermarkets and grocers have the power to viably compete against other foodservice businesses to offer affordable dining options for larger parties, especially when dealing in deli platters. [Read more…]

Future of retail refrigeration: What trends will impact how supermarkets invest in refrigerated technology?

Refrigeration is the cornerstone of any grocery store or supermarket selling fresh goods, but refrigeration systems are also some of the biggest expenses retail food stores assume, not to mention a considerable risk to inventory if they suddenly break down.

To stay ahead of the game, business leaders have turned to smarter, more comprehensive energy management strategies including the purchase of Energy Star products and greater monitoring of equipment performance. But as times change, supermarkets and grocery stores will need to adjust their policies regarding energy efficiency and general refrigeration upkeep to continue to be competitive. What does the future of commercial refrigeration hold for the supermarket sector? [Read more…]

5 ways to avoid ‘having a cow’ over your next commercial patty machine investment [w/ Infographic]

Commercial-grade patty machines can take your supermarket, butcher shop or restaurant into delicious overdrive. More importantly, patty makers save time for food prep workers, not to mention costs for upper management.

However, investing in patty equipment without thinking about your own operations could throw kinks into everything and rob a business of its cost efficacy. What financial considerations should cross the minds of commercial foodservice investors before they commit to a patty machine? [Read more…]

Snack food frenzy: What it takes to bring pizza and soft pretzels to your prepared foods department

Some days, you just have to treat yourself.

Snack foods get everyone’s attention — the sight and smell of a piping-hot pizza pie or a freshly baked soft pretzel makes everybody’s mouths water, which means they can both be real commercial successes for foodservice business owners considering selling these treats in their stores.

That said, supermarkets or grocery stores looking for a slice of the action shouldn’t let the fun times associated with these snacks cloud their judgment. Pizza and soft pretzels both require careful equipment considerations every investor should be aware of. [Read more…]