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Sandwiches, Subs, and Wraps - US - September 2010

While a difficult economic environment has created a variety of challenges for sandwich shop operators, it is also clear that many consumers are seeking inexpensive restaurant dining options and sandwich shops have often been able to capitalize on this demand. Moreover, there is a kind of “health halo” around some sandwich shops that has helped them appeal to the millions of Americans who are seeking convenient and inexpensive ways to achieve their weight loss and healthy living aspirations.

In order to provide insight that can be used to help managers create high-demand products and effective communications, Mintel has prepared this report to address a variety of questions including the following:

  • How have sales at sandwich shops in the U.S. fluctuated in recent years and how are they likely to change in the future?
  • How have macroeconomic conditions impacted sandwich shops?
  • How are operators responding to the health and wellness trend and what role does this trend play in customer decision-making?
  • What types of sandwiches, toppings and beverages are most popular?
  • How are sandwich shop chains using social media and other media platforms?
  • What factors tend to motivate consumers to choose sandwich shops over QSRs?

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Mintel Menu Insights
            • Consumer survey data
              • Advertising creative
                • Abbreviations and terms
                  • Abbreviations
                    • Terms
                    • Executive Summary

                        • Market Size—Slow growth, but growth still
                          • Market Drivers—Macroeconomic Factors
                            • Market Drivers—Health and Wellness
                              • Menu Insights Analysis: Menu Trends at Sandwich Shops
                                • Menu Insights Analysis: Marketing the QSR Menu
                                  • Menu Insights Analysis: The Beverage Menu
                                    • Sandwich Shop Daypart Usage
                                      • Sandwich Shop Usage
                                        • Sandwich Shop Menu Choices and Preferences
                                          • Selection Criteria and customer Attitudes at Sandwich Shops
                                            • Sandwich Shop Comparisons to Fast Food
                                            • Insights and Opportunities

                                              • Build new products and experiences around key decision-making criteria
                                                • Figure 1: Attitudes that influence decisions to dine at sandwich shops, by household income, February-March 2010
                                            • Inspire Insights

                                                • Trend: Extend My Brand
                                                • Market Size and Forecast

                                                  • Slow growth ahead
                                                    • Figure 2: U.S. sales at sandwich shops, at current prices, 2005-15
                                                    • Figure 3: U.S. sales at sandwich shops, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2005-15
                                                • Market Drivers—Macroeconomic Factors

                                                  • Key points
                                                    • Unemployment remains high and drives many to avoid restaurants
                                                      • Figure 4: Incidence of unemployment and underemployment, January 2007-August 2010
                                                    • Personal income growth remains slow and unlikely to climb significantly in the near term
                                                      • Figure 5: Real disposable personal income, January 2007-June 2010
                                                    • Consumer sentiment remains at historically low level, driving many to embrace frugality
                                                      • Figure 6: Consumer sentiment, March 2007-August 2010
                                                    • Q1-Q2 2010 show signs of recovery but Q3 data paint a pretty stark picture
                                                      • Figure 7: Adjusted foodservice and drinking place sales, January 2008-August 2010
                                                    • Overall industry performance declines in face of high unemployment and disappointing housing stats
                                                      • Figure 8: Consumer sentiment, January 2009-July 2010
                                                  • Market Drivers—Health and Wellness

                                                    • Key point
                                                      • About half of American adults currently watching diet
                                                        • Figure 9: Incidence of presently watching/controlling diet, 2004/05-2008/09
                                                      • Weight and fat still primary, concerns about sodium avoidance becoming more common
                                                        • Figure 10: Reasons for watching/controlling diet, 2006/07 and 2008/09
                                                        • Figure 11: Attributes diet watchers look for in food, 2006/07 and 2008/09
                                                      • Obesity remains at record levels
                                                        • Figure 12: Percentage of population aged 20 and over who are overweight or obese or extremely obese, 1988-2008
                                                      • Concern about childhood obesity intensifies
                                                        • Figure 13: Prevalence of obesity among children and adolescents, 2-19 years of age, 1976-2008
                                                      • Southern states have highest rates of obesity
                                                        • Figure 14: States with highest rate of obesity in the U.S., 2007-09 combined
                                                    • Competitive Context

                                                      • Obama administration takes steps to curb obesity and regulate restaurants
                                                        • QSRs continue to represent a primary competitive threat
                                                          • Figure 15: U.S. sales at quick-service restaurants, at current prices, 2005-15
                                                        • Many cooking more at home to save money and improve nutrition
                                                          • Figure 16: Incidence of cooking more at home to save money and improve nutrition, by age, July 2010
                                                      • Leading Companies

                                                        • Dominance of Subway and Quiznos partly a function of the number of locations
                                                          • Figure 17: Total number of locations of major sandwich restaurant chains, 2010
                                                        • Subway
                                                          • Figure 18: Incidence of visiting Subway restaurants, by age, February-March 2010
                                                          • Figure 19: Incidence of visiting Subway restaurants, by household income, February-March 2010
                                                        • Arby’s
                                                          • Figure 20: Incidence of visiting Arby’s restaurants, by household income, February-March 2010
                                                        • Panera Bread
                                                          • Figure 21: Incidence of visiting Panera Bread restaurants, by household income, February-March 2010
                                                        • Quiznos
                                                            • Figure 22: Incidence of visiting Quiznos restaurants, by household income, February-March 2010
                                                          • Au Bon Pain
                                                            • Figure 23: Incidence of visiting Au Bon Pain restaurants, by household income, February-March 2010
                                                        • Marketing Strategies

                                                          • Overview
                                                            • Television advertisements
                                                              • Subway
                                                                • Figure 24: Subway Breakfast Sandwiches and chicken salad tag ad, 2010
                                                                • Figure 25: Subway Cuban Pulled Pork Sub ad, 2010
                                                                • Figure 26: Subway $5 Foot-longs ad, 2010
                                                              • Quiznos
                                                                • Figure 27: Quiznos Toasty Torpedoes ad, 2010
                                                                • Figure 28: Quiznos Value Menu ad, 2010
                                                                • Figure 29: Quiznos ad, 2010
                                                              • Company websites
                                                                • Subway
                                                                  • Figure 30: Quantcast.com traffic estimates for subway.com, February-August 2010
                                                                  • Figure 31: Quantcast.com traffic estimates for subwayfreshbuzz.com, February-August 2010
                                                                • Arby’s
                                                                  • Figure 32: Quantcast.com traffic estimates for arbys.com, February-August 2010
                                                                • Panera Bread
                                                                  • Figure 33: Quantcast.com traffic estimates for panerabread.com, February-August 2010
                                                                • Quiznos
                                                                  • Au Bon Pain
                                                                    • Figure 34: Quantcast.com traffic estimates for aubonpain.com, February-August 2010
                                                                  • Social media
                                                                    • Subway
                                                                      • Arby’s
                                                                        • Panera Bread
                                                                          • Quiznos
                                                                            • Au Bon Pain
                                                                            • Menu Insights Analysis: Menu Trends at Sandwich Shops

                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                • Turkey and breakfast sandwiches often associated with innovation
                                                                                    • Figure 35: Top 10 sandwich shop menu items, by incidence, Q2 2008-Q2 2010
                                                                                  • Turkey, chicken and roast beef command modest premiums
                                                                                    • Figure 36: Top 10 sandwich shop menu items, by incidence and price, Q2 2008-Q2 2010
                                                                                  • Tomato, lettuce and onions most popular toppings
                                                                                      • Figure 37: Top 10 sandwich shop menu item ingredients, by incidence, Q2 2008-Q2 2010
                                                                                  • Menu Insights Analysis: Marketing the QSR Menu

                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                      • Vegetarian/vegan, Classic and Signature claims common and growing in popularity
                                                                                          • Figure 38: Top 10 menu item claims on sandwich shop menus, by incidence, Q2 2008-Q2 2010
                                                                                          • Figure 39: Top 10 menu item claims on sandwich shop menus, by incidence and price, Q2 2008-Q2 2010
                                                                                      • Menu Insights Analysis: The Beverage Menu

                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                          • Leverage the beverage offering to attract customers during off-peak times
                                                                                            • Figure 40: Top 10 beverages on sandwich shop menus, by incidence, Q2 2008-Q2 2010
                                                                                          • Consider offering or refining the smoothie offering to drive up beverage spend
                                                                                            • Figure 41: Top 10 beverages on sandwich shop menus, by incidence and price, Q2 2008-Q2 2010
                                                                                        • Sandwich Shop Daypart Usage

                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                            • Lunch and dinner remain most popular but many making a play for breakfast
                                                                                              • Figure 42: Sandwich, sub and wrap restaurant daypart usage, by age, May 2010
                                                                                            • Affluents more likely to dine at sandwich shops during all three primary meal occasions
                                                                                              • Figure 43: Sandwich, sub and wrap restaurant daypart usage, by household income, May 2010
                                                                                          • Sandwich Shop Brand Usage

                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                              • Subway remains dominant player at all mealtimes
                                                                                                • Figure 44: Sandwich, sub and wrap restaurant daypart usage and usage frequency, by restaurant, May 2010
                                                                                              • Young adults are a key segment for all major chains
                                                                                                • Figure 45: Sandwich, sub and wrap restaurant usage, by age, May 2010
                                                                                              • Affluents over-index on visits for breakfast as well as lunch and dinner
                                                                                                • Figure 46: Sandwich, sub and wrap restaurant breakfast usage, by household income, May 2010
                                                                                            • Sandwich Shop Menu Choices and Preferences

                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                • Emphasize salads, soups, baked goods and breakfast to attract 25-34s
                                                                                                  • Figure 47: Customer ordering behavior at sandwich shops, by age, May 2010
                                                                                                • Affluents more likely to prefer salads and gourmet treats/coffee
                                                                                                  • Figure 48: Customer ordering behavior at sandwich shops, by household income, May 2010
                                                                                                • Pitch women with salads, sides and fruit cups
                                                                                                  • Figure 49: “Like” to see more of at sandwich shops, by gender, May 2010
                                                                                                • Many young adults looking for more smoothies and treats
                                                                                                  • Figure 50: “Like” to see more of at sandwich shops, by age, May 2010
                                                                                              • Selection Criteria and Customer Attitudes at Sandwich Shops

                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                  • Cheese and beverage selection key considerations for young adults
                                                                                                    • Figure 51: Selection criteria for sandwich shops, by age, May 2010
                                                                                                  • Quality of meat and cheese, as well as beverage selection more important to affluents
                                                                                                    • Figure 52: Selection criteria for sandwich shops, by household income, May 2010
                                                                                                  • Middle and upper-income sandwich shop customers somewhat more likely to use coupons
                                                                                                    • Figure 53: Ordering behavior at sandwich shops, by household income, May 2010
                                                                                                • Sandwich Shop Comparisons to Fast Food

                                                                                                  • Key point
                                                                                                    • Health and freshness key points of differentiation
                                                                                                      • Figure 54: Sandwich shops compared to fast food, by age, May 2010
                                                                                                  • Cluster Analysis

                                                                                                      • Sandwich-Shop Aficionados (25%)
                                                                                                        • Characteristics
                                                                                                          • Opportunity
                                                                                                            • Weeklies (41%)
                                                                                                              • Characteristics
                                                                                                                • Opportunity
                                                                                                                  • Strictly Sandwiches (34%)
                                                                                                                    • Characteristics
                                                                                                                      • Opportunity
                                                                                                                        • Characteristic tables
                                                                                                                          • Figure 55: Sandwich shop clusters, May 2010
                                                                                                                          • Figure 56: Sandwich shop daypart usage, by sandwich shop clusters, May 2010
                                                                                                                          • Figure 57: Incidence of purchasing various menu items, by sandwich shop clusters, May 2010
                                                                                                                          • Figure 58: “Like” to see more of at sandwich shops, by sandwich shop clusters, May 2010
                                                                                                                          • Figure 59: Sandwich shop attitudes and perceptions, by sandwich shop clusters, May 2010
                                                                                                                        • Demographic tables
                                                                                                                          • Figure 60: Sandwich shop clusters, by gender, May 2010
                                                                                                                          • Figure 61: Sandwich shop clusters, by age, May 2010
                                                                                                                          • Figure 62: Sandwich shop clusters, by household income, May 2010
                                                                                                                          • Figure 63: Sandwich shop clusters, by race, May 2010
                                                                                                                          • Figure 64: Sandwich shop clusters, by Hispanic origin, May 2010
                                                                                                                        • Cluster methodology
                                                                                                                        • Appendix: Additional Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                            • Age
                                                                                                                              • Figure 65: Sandwich, sub and wrap restaurant breakfast usage, by age, May 2010
                                                                                                                              • Figure 66: Sandwich, sub and wrap restaurant lunch usage, by age, May 2010
                                                                                                                              • Figure 67: Sandwich, sub and wrap restaurant dinner usage, by age, May 2010
                                                                                                                            • Gender
                                                                                                                              • Figure 68: Consumer ordering behavior at sandwich shops, by gender, May 2010
                                                                                                                              • Figure 69: Selection criteria for sandwich shops, by gender, May 2010
                                                                                                                              • Figure 70: Ordering behavior at sandwich shops, by gender, May 2010
                                                                                                                            • Income
                                                                                                                              • Figure 71: “Like” to see more of at sandwich shops, by household income, May 2010
                                                                                                                              • Figure 72: Sandwich, sub and wrap restaurant lunch usage, by household income, May 2010
                                                                                                                              • Figure 73: Sandwich, sub and wrap restaurant dinner usage, by household income, May 2010
                                                                                                                              • Figure 74: Sandwich shops compared to fast food, by household income, May 2010
                                                                                                                            • Race and Hispanic origin
                                                                                                                              • Figure 75: “Like” to see more of at sandwich shops, by race/ethnicity, May 2010
                                                                                                                          • Appendix: Trade Associations

                                                                                                                            Companies Covered

                                                                                                                            • American Dietetic Association (ADA)
                                                                                                                            • American Medical Association (AMA)
                                                                                                                            • Arby's Restaurant Group
                                                                                                                            • Bureau of Economic Analysis
                                                                                                                            • Burger King Corporation
                                                                                                                            • Denny's Corporation
                                                                                                                            • Facebook, Inc.
                                                                                                                            • Food Distributors International
                                                                                                                            • Food Marketing Institute
                                                                                                                            • International Food Service Executives Association (IFSEA)
                                                                                                                            • International Foodservice Distributors Association (IFDA)
                                                                                                                            • International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA)
                                                                                                                            • International Franchise Association (IFA)
                                                                                                                            • International Fresh-Cut Produce Association (IFPA)
                                                                                                                            • International Hotel and Restaurants Association (IH&RA)
                                                                                                                            • McDonald's U.S.A.
                                                                                                                            • National Council of Chain Restaurants (NCCR)
                                                                                                                            • National Nutritional Foods Association
                                                                                                                            • National Restaurant Association (NRA)
                                                                                                                            • National Retail Federation (NRF)
                                                                                                                            • Organic Trade Association
                                                                                                                            • Panera Bread Company
                                                                                                                            • Pizza Hut Inc
                                                                                                                            • Produce Marketing Association
                                                                                                                            • Starbucks Corporation
                                                                                                                            • The Vegetarian Resource Group
                                                                                                                            • Twitter, Inc.
                                                                                                                            • U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
                                                                                                                            • Walmart Stores (USA)
                                                                                                                            • Whole Foods Market Inc
                                                                                                                            • YouTube, Inc.

                                                                                                                            Sandwiches, Subs, and Wraps - US - September 2010

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