Consumers eat an average of three sandwiches per week and just under half (42%) are sourced away from home. This indicates that foodservice has room to drive sandwich sales by stealing share of at-home occasions. To be successful, operators need to offer a variety of sandwiches that are high-quality, innovative, hard to replicate and that stand out from the competition.

"In order for operators to gain share, they need to differentiate," explains Kelly Weikel, director of consumer insights at Technomic. "Whether it be offering artisanal, local or premium ingredients, experimenting with ethnic flavours and unique applications or introducing chef-driven LTO's, operators need to meet consumers' growing needs for quality, variety and innovation."

Key takeaways from the report include:

• Consumers increasingly demand ethnic sandwiches and sandwich ingredients (26%, up from 21% in 2014)

• Chain restaurants may benefit from differentiating sandwich offerings: 38% of consumers think that chain restaurants all offer very similar sandwiches, up from 31% in 2012

• Today's consumers are slightly less satisfied with the availability of healthy sandwich options at restaurants, with 38% of consumers saying they are satisfied with healthy sandwich offerings now compared to 44% in 2014

Compiling findings from more than 1,000 consumers, as well as Technomic's MenuMonitor and Digital Resource Library, the comprehensive 2016 Canadian Sandwich Consumer Trend Report serves as a guide for foodservice operators and suppliers to understand consumer attitudes toward sandwiches and to identify key areas of opportunity.