Innovation Will Be Key for the Canadian Sandwich Category

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CHICAGO — While 61 per cent of Canadian consumers eat sandwiches on a weekly basis, the percentage of away-from-home sandwich purchases has declined since 2016. According to Technomic’s 2018 Canadian Sandwich Consumer Trend Report, this is primarily due to the affordability and ease of preparing sandwiches at home, as Canada experiences a sluggish economy and rising menu prices at restaurants amid a decrease in commodity prices for sandwich ingredients.

“As the economy bounces back, consumers may trade back up to foodservice for sandwich occasions. In the meantime, offering innovative yet affordable sandwiches that consumers can’t easily replicate themselves — through specialty or unique ingredients or preparation methods — may help entice consumers who want to break up their routine or treat themselves,” says Anne Mills, senior manager of Consumer Insights at Technomic. “Brands will need to find the right balance of innovation for their core customer base. Younger consumers seek more ethnic options, while older consumers prefer classic sandwich varieties.”

Key takeaways from the report include:
• 61 per cent of consumers eat sandwiches at least once a week — either at home or away from home
• 34 per cent of consumers’ sandwiches are purchased away from home, down from 42 per cent in 2016
• 30 per cent of consumers and 39 per cent of millennials want restaurants to offer more sandwiches with new or unique flavours

The full report is available for download at technomic.com.

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