The good news is that customers today are willing to pay more for their sandwiches to get that unique experience they are looking for. This experience can be provided by focusing on premium products and offering customizable menu items to attract customers and win them over from competitors.

Forty percent of American millennials strongly agree that all chain operators offer very similar sandwiches, making it necessary for your sandwich shop to continually offer new varieties or more unique sandwich flavors that aren’t available elsewhere.

Premium for profitability

As the desire for more premium experiences continues to grow, quality is one of the most important attributes when consumers choose a sandwich – only second to taste.

Healthier ingredients or healthier sandwich options encourage the hungry crowd to choose sandwiches more often – both at home and out and about. A quarter of American consumers say they would be more likely to buy and pay more for products with health-halo descriptors such as ‘high-protein bread’ and ‘hormone-free meats’.

Alternative sandwich ingredients, such as plant-based proteins and egg-free mayonnaise peak consumers’ interest. The same goes for attributes such as ’natural ingredients’, ’non-GMO’, and ’hormone/antibiotic-free’.

Also, the younger generation of sandwich consumers are likely to prefer specialty bread and artisan ingredients in their sandwiches over standard products.

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71 percent of those who think premium attributes are important, are also willing to pay more than the median price for those products (which was $7,95 in 2016).

Consumers want control

Sandwiches bring our most beloved foods together — bread, cheeses, meats, veggies, and condiments — making it easy for sandwich shop operators to customize the experience according to consumers’ tastes or to offer “build-your-own” options.

Operators happily offer this flexibility: Just over half of American operators say that offering customizable sandwiches on their menus is important, whereas one-third of sandwich operators currently offer build-your-own sandwiches.

2/3 of all sandwich orders in America are being customized, including 22 percent orders that are modified from existing menu items. This shows that consumers clearly want some control over their sandwiches. However, they are often happy to simply tweak basic sandwiches from the menu.

Make your sandwiches premium and charge extra by:

  1. Focusing on quality
  2. Offering healthier versions of ingredients and sandwiches
  3. Providing alternative and unique sandwiches on the menu
  4. Serving specialty bread and artisan ingredients
  5. Offering customization to a certain extent


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How to make sandwiches a delicious business


Sources: Technomic Inc., Sandwich Consumer Trend Report, 2018. Datassential, The Sandwich Keynote Report, 2017