Total servings of sandwiches including deli/other, chicken and wraps rose by 1 billion last year to 12 billion, while burger servings rose by 800,000 to 9.3 billion, according to data from NPD's ongoing CREST tracking of consumer use of commercial and noncommercial foodservice establishments.
Total combined sandwich/burger servings exceeded 22 billion.
While all dayparts contributed to sandwich/burger gains, lunch contributed 48% of the growth. Six out of 10 sandwiches and burgers were sold out of QSR's.
NPD restaurant analyst Bonnie Riggs attributes the continuing strength of sandwiches/burgers during the recession to their mass appeal. "Sandwiches, burgers and wraps are accessible, customizable, affordable, portable and can be dressed up, gourmet-style, or dressed down," she notes.
Riggs, who expects more restaurant operators to capitalize on sandwiches going forward, notes that it's "amazing" that such a well-established item still offers room for growth. --Karlene Lukovitz