CHICAGO – Canadian consumers report eating an average of 3.3 sandwiches per week, and 35 percent of them say they eat a sandwich at least every other day, according to a new study titled Canadian Sandwich Consumer Trend Report from Technomic Inc. Data indicates there are more opportunities for operators and suppliers to increase share of sandwich occasions and boost sales; 39 percent of the sandwiches consumers eat are sourced away from home.

Improving sandwich quality can improve sandwich sales. Compared to the past, today's consumers place a higher importance on the quality of meat, bread, cheese and condiments in creating a good sandwich. Quality is often times tied to health, and data indicates only 44 percent of consumers are satisfied with the healthfulness of sandwiches away-from-home.

"Operators need to focus on the quality of their sandwiches to help drive traffic and steal share," said Darren Tristano, executive vice president of Technomic Inc. "Restaurants should integrate quality in a way that aligns with their concept's positioning. For example, certain concepts can emphasize sandwich quality and improve health perceptions at the same time through better-for-you sandwich claims, such as fresh, artisan or made-from-scratch."

Other study highlights include:

  • Sandwiches fill the need for fast, convenient and portable meal options. Three out of every five sandwiches (60 percent) that consumers order are taken to go, and 48 percent of consumers sometimes purchase grab-and-go sandwiches.
  • Most consumers prioritize health for sandwiches at lunch (57 percent) and dinner (56 percent). Further, 44 percent of consumers would like healthier sides with their sandwiches.
  • One-fifth of consumers (21 percent), and 32 percent of 25- to 34-year-olds, demand more ethnic sandwiches at restaurants.
  • Consumers are more likely to try new or unique flavors on sandwiches than on other foods (27 percent, up from 21 percent in 2012).