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Sandwiches, Subs and Wrap Concepts - US - October 2015

"This report explores consumer dining, market and culinary trends in the fast food (QSR) and fast casual segments of sandwich, sub and wrap restaurants. The report covers consumer attitudes regarding the type of restaurant they visit and during which daypart, desired attributes of the foods they order, attitudes toward the restaurants, promotions and deals that appeal, menu trends, and how behaviors and attitudes have changed compared to the prior year. The report will highlight the challenges fast food restaurants have in competing against fast casuals and opportunities for both."
- Julia Gallo-Torres, Senior Analyst, Food, Drink and Foodservice

This report discusses the following key topics:

  • In a world where consumers want more natural products, processed meats struggle
  • Consumers want fresh preparations, as these signal health
  • Fast casual is stealing market share, though most consumers go to fast food shops

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Market size and forecast
        • Executive Summary

            • The issues
              • In a world where consumers want more natural products, processed meats struggle
                • Figure 1: Preferences for natural ingredients at LSR sandwich, sub, and wrap shops, by gender, July 2015
              • Consumers want fresh preparations, as these signal health
                • Figure 2: Important attributes of foods at LSR sandwich, sub, and wrap shops, July 2015
              • Fast casual is stealing market share, though most consumers go to fast food shops
                • Figure 3: Willingness to pay more for premium items at LSR sandwich, sub, and wrap shops, by gender, July 2015
              • The opportunities
                • Premium-positioned sandwiches
                  • Figure 4: Attitudes toward freshly prepared foods at LSR sandwich, sub, and wrap shops, by gender, July 2015
                • Ethnic versions of sandwiches have higher appeal among ethnic groups
                  • Figure 5: Importance of ethnic authenticity at LSR sandwich, sub, and wrap shops, by race, July 2015
                • Appealing to older demographics
                  • Figure 6: General attitudes and opinions about food, April 2014-June 2015
                • What it means
                • The Market – What You Need to Know

                  • Volatile commodity prices affect operator offerings
                    • Consumers are wary of processed foods
                      • Fast food concepts offer price-sensitive consumers better value
                      • Market Size and Forecast

                        • US limited-service restaurant sales are growing
                          • Figure 7: Total US sales and forecast of limited-service restaurants, at current prices, 2010-20
                        • Inflation-adjusted sales also show growth
                          • Figure 8: Total US sales and forecast of limited-service restaurants, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2010-20
                        • Fan chart forecast
                          • Figure 9: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of limited-service restaurants at current prices, 2010-20
                      • Market Factors

                        • Consumers dining out more
                          • Figure 10: Unemployment and underemployment rates, January 2007-June 2015
                        • Processed meats are under close scrutiny
                          • NYC first to require high-sodium foods to be labeled on menus
                            • The economy still makes consumers nervous
                              • Figure 11: Consumer Confidence Index, January 2007-July 2015
                            • Commodity prices are volatile for both consumers and operators
                              • Figure 12: Changes in food price indexes, 2013-16
                          • What’s Working?

                            • Premiumization of sandwich ingredients, and celebrity chefs
                              • Arby’s focus on quality renews its competitiveness
                                • Independent sandwich shops with famous chefs
                                • What’s Struggling?

                                  • Older, established concepts seen as outdated
                                    • Subway was struggling before the Jared scandal
                                      • Overinflated prices and a saturated market bring down Quiznos
                                      • What’s Next?

                                        • Consumers welcome global riffs on the American sandwich
                                          • Bayless delivers authentic Mexican tortas
                                            • The Vietnamese banh mi has made it mainstream
                                              • The Peruvian foods craze translates into new sandwich shops
                                              • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                • Consumers are still watching their wallets
                                                  • Sandwich shops missing out on the snacking opportunity
                                                    • Women, ethnic groups, and older consumers are underserved demographics
                                                    • Most Consumers Visit Fast Food Sandwich Shops

                                                      • Fast food shops provide value and savings
                                                        • Figure 13: LSR sandwich, sub, and wrap concepts visitation, by segment, July 2015
                                                      • Usage of sandwich shops declines with age
                                                          • Figure 14: LSR sandwich, sub, and wrap concepts visitation, by gender and age, July 2015
                                                        • Fast casual visitation is highest among those aged 18-34
                                                            • Figure 15: LSR sandwich, sub, and wrap concepts visitation, by segment and age, July 2015
                                                          • Hispanics also prefer to purchase sandwiches at fast food places
                                                              • Figure 16: LSR sandwich, sub, and wrap concepts visitation, by Hispanic origin, July 2015
                                                          • Consumers Focus on BOGOs in Order to Save

                                                            • Consumers also want to be rewarded for loyalty
                                                                • Figure 17: LSR sandwich, sub, and wrap shops – Discounts, promotions, and loyalty programs – Fast food vs fast casual, July 2015
                                                              • Women lean more toward BOGOs as they mature
                                                                  • Figure 18: LSR sandwich, sub, and wrap shops – Discounts, promotions, and loyalty programs, by women and age, July 2015
                                                                • Men 55+ also like BOGOs, as well as daily specials
                                                                  • Figure 19: LSR sandwich, sub, and wrap shops – Discounts, promotions, and loyalty programs, by men and age, July 2015
                                                                • Hispanics are less fond of daily specials and printed coupons
                                                                  • Figure 20: LSR sandwich, sub, and wrap shops – Discounts, promotions, and loyalty programs, by Hispanic origin, July 2015
                                                              • Usage of Fast Casual Rises with Income

                                                                  • Figure 21: LSR sandwich, sub, and wrap concepts visitation, fast food vs fast casual, by age and income, July 2015
                                                                • Higher incomes seek purer foods
                                                                  • Figure 22: Important attributes of LSR sandwich, sub, and wrap shops, by income, July 2015
                                                              • Parents Visit Fast Food More than Fast Casual

                                                                • Usage peaks among those with children aged 6-11
                                                                  • Figure 23: Visitation of LSR sandwich, sub, and wrap concepts, by age of children in HH, July 2015
                                                                • With frequent visits, parents seek discounts and deals
                                                                  • Figure 24: LSR sandwich, sub, and wrap shops – Discounts, promotions, and loyalty programs, by age of children in HH, July 2015
                                                                • Fathers visit fast food sandwich restaurants the most
                                                                  • Figure 25: Visitation of LSR sandwich, sub, and wrap concepts, by parents, July 2015
                                                              • Visitation of Sandwich, Sub, and Wrap Shops, by Daypart

                                                                • Lunch is the most popular daypart for sandwiches
                                                                  • Figure 26: LSR sandwich, sub, and wrap concepts usage, by daypart, July 2015
                                                              • Usage of Sandwich Shops at Lunch

                                                                  • Figure 27: LSR sandwich, sub and wrap concepts – Any usage, lunch, July 2015
                                                                • Health concerns translate to less usage for consumers aged 55+
                                                                  • Figure 28: LSR sandwich, sub, and wrap concepts usage, fast food vs fast casual – Lunch, by age, July 2015
                                                                • Consumers in the South enjoy lunch sandwiches the most
                                                                  • Figure 29: LSR sandwich, sub and wrap concepts usage, fast food vs fast casual – Lunch, by region, July 2015
                                                                • Hispanics visit sub shops at lunch about the same as non-Hispanics do
                                                                  • Figure 30: LSR sandwich, sub and wrap concepts usage, fast food vs fast casual – Lunch, by Hispanic origin, July 2015
                                                              • Usage of Sandwich Shops for Daytime Snacking

                                                                  • Figure 31: LSR sandwich, sub, and wrap concepts usage, fast food vs fast casual – Daytime snack, July 2015
                                                                • Younger Millennials want better-quality snacks
                                                                  • Figure 32: LSR sandwich, sub, and wrap concepts usage, fast food vs fast casual – Daytime snack, by generations, July 2015
                                                                • Hispanics are fans of fast casual sandwiches for daytime snacks
                                                                  • Figure 33: LSR sandwich, sub, and wrap concepts usage, fast food vs fast casual – Daytime snack, by Hispanic origin, July 2015
                                                                • Daytime snacks appeal to parents
                                                                  • Figure 34: LSR sandwich, sub, and wrap concepts usage, fast food vs fast casual – Daytime snack, by children in household, July 2015
                                                              • Usage of Sandwich Shops at Dinner

                                                                  • Figure 35: LSR sandwich, sub, and wrap concepts usage, by dinner, July 2015
                                                                • 45-54-year-olds gravitate to fast food dinners
                                                                  • Figure 36: LSR sandwich, sub, and wrap concepts usage, fast food vs fast casual – Dinner, by age, July 2015
                                                                • Older Millennials gravitate toward fast casuals
                                                                  • Figure 37: LSR sandwich, sub, and wrap concepts usage, fast food vs fast casual – Dinner, by generations, July 2015
                                                                • Those without kids use LSR sandwich shops more at dinner
                                                                  • Figure 38: LSR sandwich, sub, and wrap concepts, any usage – Dinner, by parents, July 2015
                                                                • Hispanics preparing more healthful foods at home
                                                                  • Figure 39: LSR sandwich, sub, and wrap concepts usage, fast food vs fast casual – Dinner , by Hispanic origin, July 2015
                                                              • Usage of Sandwich Shops at Breakfast

                                                                • Getting into breakfast may require investment
                                                                  • Figure 40: LSR sandwich, sub, and wrap concepts usage, by daypart – Breakfast, by age, July 2015
                                                              • What’s Trending on the Menu

                                                                • Sandwiches, subs, and wraps grew only in upscale restaurants
                                                                  • Top sandwich types on the menu
                                                                    • Figure 41: Top 10 menued dishes, sandwiches, subs, and wraps in all restaurant segments, Q2 2012-15
                                                                  • A focus on regional and global flavors
                                                                    • Types of ingredients and flavors featured, trending and emerging
                                                                      • Figure 42: Top 10 ingredients featured on sandwiches, subs, and wraps, all restaurants segments, Q2 2012-15
                                                                    • Slower cooking methods add flavor complexity
                                                                      • Claims on menu dishes try to signal uniqueness
                                                                        • Figure 43: Top five claims on menu dishes, all restaurant segments, Q2 2012-15
                                                                      • Promotional menus grow, as consumers seek savings and freshness
                                                                      • Regular Visitors Spend More

                                                                        • Sandwich shops need more fare for health-focused consumers
                                                                            • Figure 44: Key drivers of spending more or the same amount per sandwich, sub, or wrap LSR visit, July 2015
                                                                        • Men are Spending More than Women

                                                                          • Men visit fast food concepts more than women
                                                                            • Figure 45: LSR sandwich, sub, and wrap concepts visitation, fast food vs fast casual, by gender, July 2015
                                                                          • Women want to save money when dining out
                                                                            • Figure 46: LSR sandwich, sub, and wrap concepts – Changes in behavior – More, by gender, July 2015
                                                                        • Consumer Preferences in Sandwich Shops

                                                                          • Women lean more toward healthful foods and beverages
                                                                              • Figure 47: Attitudes toward LSR sandwich, sub, and wrap shops, by gender, July 2015
                                                                            • Health is not as important to Younger Millennials
                                                                                • Figure 48: Attitudes toward LSR sandwich, sub, and wrap shops, by generation, July 2015
                                                                              • Hispanics want help with healthy choices, but still love sweets
                                                                                  • Figure 49: Attitudes toward LSR sandwich, sub, and wrap shops, by Hispanic origin, July 2015
                                                                                • As income increases, health becomes a priority
                                                                                  • Figure 50: Attitudes toward LSR sandwich, sub and wrap shops, by income, July 2015
                                                                              • Important Sandwich Characteristics

                                                                                • Freshness of ingredients is most important
                                                                                  • Figure 51: Important attributes of foods at LSR sandwich, sub, and wrap shops, July 2015
                                                                                • Hispanics want help with diets, and ethnic authenticity
                                                                                  • Figure 52: Important attributes of LSR sandwich, sub, and wrap shop foods, by Hispanic origin, July 2015
                                                                                • Ethnic authenticity also important to Black consumers
                                                                                  • Figure 53: Important attributes of LSR sandwich, sub, and wrap shop foods, by race, July 2015
                                                                              • Older Millennials Plan More Visits

                                                                                • Older Millennials to spend more and want the ease of using technology
                                                                                  • Figure 54: LSR sandwich, sub, and wrap concepts – Changes in behavior – More, by generation, July 2015
                                                                                • Consumers expect a more upscale experience from fast casual concepts
                                                                                  • Figure 55: Important attributes of LSR sandwich, sub, and wrap shop foods, fast food vs fast casual, July 2015
                                                                                • Older Millennials most willing to try new restaurants
                                                                                  • Figure 56: LSR sandwich, sub, and wrap concepts – Changes in behavior – More, by generation, July 2015
                                                                              • Whites and Asians Most Like Mobile App Rewards

                                                                                  • Figure 57: Deals, discounts, and loyalty programs – CHAID – Tree output, July 2015
                                                                                • A look at additional target groups, by discounts, promotions, and rewards programs
                                                                                    • Figure 58: Deals, discounts, and loyalty programs – CHAID – Table output, July 2015
                                                                                • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                                  • Data sources
                                                                                    • Market size and forecast
                                                                                      • Fan chart forecast
                                                                                        • Consumer survey data
                                                                                          • Mintel Menu Insights
                                                                                            • Methodology of CHAID analysis
                                                                                              • Abbreviations
                                                                                              • Appendix – Market

                                                                                                  • Figure 59: Total US sales and forecast of limited-service restaurants, at current prices, 2010-20
                                                                                                  • Figure 60: Total US sales and forecast of limited-service restaurants, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2010-20
                                                                                                  • Figure 61: Median household income in US dollars, by age of householder, 2014
                                                                                              • Appendix – The Consumer

                                                                                                  • Figure 62: Attitudes/opinions about food, April 2014-June 2015
                                                                                              • Appendix – Key Driver Analysis Methodology

                                                                                                • Methodology
                                                                                                  • Interpretation of results
                                                                                                    • Figure 63: Key drivers of spending more or the same amount per sandwich, sub, or wrap LSR visit – Key driver output, July 2015

                                                                                                Companies Covered

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                                                                                                Sandwiches, Subs and Wrap Concepts - US - October 2015

                                                                                                £3,199.84 (Excl.Tax)