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Despite the prevalence of national sandwich chains, consumers love local favorites when it comes to the sandwich category, according to a recent report from Technomic Information Services that highlights key consumer preference trends in the category.
"Although many chains have a national presence, the responses we received from consumers indicate many are loyal to the regional favorites," said Eric Giandelone, Technomic's editorial manager. "Operators can benefit from knowing how the consumer decision-making process is influenced by not only the menu, but also the regional influences."
The trend toward varying regional sandwich preferences was one of a number of notable behavioral findings that Technomic unearthed in its 2006 Evolving Sandwich Report, drawing on survey responses from more than 700 consumers.
Another noteworthy finding is that breakfast sandwich popularity is on the rise, indicating a new opportunity for operators to increase their menu items in that incrementally-profitable daypart. A number of limited-service foodservice chains already offer breakfast menus, but the selection is fairly limited among those in the sandwich category.
Consumers also are increasingly seeking out higher quality ingredients in their sandwiches. Some chains have responded to this trend by incorporating more premium ingredients, and also by highlighting their new menu additions with descriptive names and other marketing tactics.