Sandwiches have been a popular item for centuries. However, modern interpretations have pushed the idea of what bread could be. Bread can be gluten-free, nut-free, packed with proteins, or even powered by plants. No matter the application, staying innovative in this oversaturated market makes your bottom line rise like a fine dough.
Go beyond the same old sandwiches and burgers
The sandwich and burger categories are growing, but consumers think the marketplace is full of too familiar eats—40% of Millennials strongly agree all restaurant chains offer very similar sandwiches.1 That's big breaking news, since sandwiches account for one-fifth of all entrées at leading restaurant chains, and more than 1,300 burgers are offered by the Top 500 Restaurant Chains alone.1 It's because consumers love a good burger or sandwich. They're accessible, affordable and convenient.1
To break through the saturation, any sandwich or burger application needs flair and individuality—and innovation. Operators are increasingly relying on breads to drive craveability, showcase uniqueness, and spotlight ethnic influences and textures.1 Then, they leverage these to justify a premium price point.1
Following recent trends, two popular solutions to menu innovation include adopting plant-forward and protein-packed breads and buns.
According to the NRN What’s Hot 2020 Culinary Forecast, "Plant-based proteins are the hot ticket item this year."2
Here are a few reasons why:
- 94% of American consumers are willing to eat more plant-based foods3
- 83% of consumers are adding plant-based foods to their diets to improve their health4
- 62% of consumers user plant-based foods to aid weight management4
These trends directly translate to restaurants. Half of consumers want plant-based options at restaurants they already frequent.5 41% of younger millennials say that health is very important in the decision of which restaurant to visit, and one-third of consumers would be more likely to visit a restaurant that offers some healthy options even if they don’t end up ordering the healthy choices.1
The desire to get more veggies is the second leading driver of consumer demand for plant-based foods.6 And powering up breads with plants is exactly what you can do for your menu with Flowers Bakeries' Garden Blend Bun.
Packed with the goodness of carrots, bell peppers, broccoli, onions, tomatoes, celery and cauliflower, their Garden Blend Bun delivers a delicious punch of veggies to any entrée. Pair with any meat or meatless sandwich to differentiate your applications for the plant-forward crowd.
Pack more protein with ancient grains
A Food Business News report identified that consumers are increasingly health-conscious in their food choices.7 Consumers are looking for a bite that packs a real protein punch. A total of 61% of adults want more protein in their diets.8 And there's no better way to make gains than with ancient grains. Compared to modern grains, ancient grains provide more protein, fiber and vitamins.9 So, if you're looking to court protein lovers, try Flowers Bakeries' Ancient Grain Bun.
This is a smooth-flavored, golden-brown premium bun. It's crafted with a "who's who" of popular and ancient grains including millet, spelt, amaranth, Khorasan flour and buckwheat—and it's nut-free with seven grams of protein per bun. In a proprietary operator study, 18 out of 20 operators said they would menu the Ancient Grain.10 Not only does the bun provide the protein consumers crave, but it also provides operators the opportunity to plate more upscale entrees.
Deck out your menu with innovative sandwiches and burgers
Since burgers are showing a two-year growth of +1.4% and sandwiches are showing a two-year growth of +2.3%1, there’s no better time to flip the script on your menu. Break through the overcrowded market with innovative breads and buns, and you can bake in broad consumer appeal right to your operation.
- Technomic 2020
- NRN What's Hot 2020 Culinary Forecast
- Yale Survey, Veg News, Feb 2020
- 2019 Information Resources, INC.
- Datassential CPP, 2018
- The NPD Group, Feb 2019 Omnibus data
- "Bun Market Adapting to Consumer Trends," Food Business News, July 2018
- THE NPD Group, Dieting Monitor, Feb 2019
- "The Whole Grain Goodness of Modern and Ancient Grains," Harvard Health Blog, June 2016
- Flowers Foodservice Proprietary Operator Focus Group study, July 2018