Sandwiches: Culinary Trend Tracking Series
Sandwiches are a culinary form for which the U.S. market a center of gravity, not least because of eager adoption and adaptation of favorite formats and fillings from around the world. The sandwich is a staple food in the American diet, with Packaged Facts survey data showing that 79% of U.S. adults having eaten a sandwich in the past seven days. The sandwich reigns supreme on menus across restaurant sectors, and is a standard in deli and prepared foods at retail.
- Garden Tartines. The tartine is a time-honored open-faced sandwich whose core simplicity belies its
hauteculinary name. Although tartines can be made with all manner of ingredients, a new trend emerges when the garden is piled onto the bread to create a produce-based (often vegetarian, and potentially vegan) still life of a sandwich. Think of this school of tartines as farm-to-slice of bread, the farm-to-table trend translated into carefully landscaped sandwiches.
- Tortas and Cemitas. Mexico’s beloved tortas and
cemitasare trending thanks to interest in international sandwiches and street foods and to the development of the quality and experience-oriented fast casualrestaurant segment.
- Croque Monsieur and Madame. With an interest in culturally authentic international cuisine revolutionizing diners’ choices, the croque-monsieur or madame provide a fresh take on familiar ingredients—and there is no shortage of options for variations.
- Brisket Sandwich. Brisket is trending as comfort food continues its culinary ascent. Brisket both on and off of sandwiches is one of the hottest regional American trends, even in NYC and on non-BBQ menus, and everyone from
fast casualrestaurants to high-end chefs can appeal to a new generation of consumers by featuring brisket with classic spiritor distinctive twists.
- Cuban Sandwich. The Cuban Sandwich, or Cubano, layers ham, roast pork, Swiss cheese, pickles (and sometimes salami, Tampa style) on lard-based Cuban bread, and then is pressed like a panini into gooey, crusty goodness. The Cuban is enjoying a renaissance across the U.S. as chefs explore a variety of ingredient combinations, or simply upgrade classic recipes.
- Sweet & Savory Sandwiches. Use of jam in hot or cold sandwiches has increased to 11% of restaurants serving sandwiches in 2014, with usage in hot sandwiches nearly doubling over that period. Looking for new ways to satisfy a sweet tooth, consumers are open to sophisticated sweet & savory sandwich offerings.
- Protein-based Salad Sandwiches. Like most classic sandwiches, the protein-based salad sandwich has been transformed in recent years by upgrades to fillings, condiments, sauces,
breads, and accompaniments.
- Breakfast Sandwiches. Terms like
natural, local, seasonal, and sustainable are increasingly catching consumers’ eyes on menus and packaging, yet are four times more likely to appear on non-breakfast items, leaving plenty of opportunity for catch-up in the breakfast sandwich space.
- Health and wellness, including ingredient spotlights and ingredient avoidance trends
- Flavor adventure and tourism
- Food integrity and authenticity
- Craft and artisanal
- Identifying future opportunities in menu offerings and packaged foods & beverages
- Leveraging the long-term drivers that are truly propelling food industry trends
- Tracking trends in fine dining restaurant, foodservice, retail prepared foods, and packaged foods
- Matching emerging trends to your organization’s ongoing menu and product development
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