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.
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.