According to market research firm Technomic, breakfast sandwich appearances on chain restaurant menus increased 8.1 percent during the early part of the year as compared to last year.
Technomic's MenuMonitor service pulled this data from the menus of the top 500 limited-service restaurants.
A separate Technomic survey found that one-third of consumers eat breakfast sandwiches at least once a week, suggesting that operators have an opportunity to promote their convenience and affordability, a move that could increase sales during the breakfast daypart.
"Sandwiches are an important part of a restaurant's menu," said Technomic executive vice president Darren Tristano. "The number of ingredients, preparation methods, and sauces can seem endless. Keeping abreast of trends appearing on restaurant menus is one way operators and suppliers can get ahead of their competition."
Other highlights from Technomic's MenuMonitor include:
- At breakfast, bacon is the most popular protein, appearing on 30.1 percent of sandwiches, followed by ham (23.7 percent) and sausage (22.9 percent).
- Among breakfast sandwich breads, flatbreads, paninis and croissants saw the most growth, while breads like ciabatta and tortilla declined.
- On lunch and dinner menus, chicken is the most popular sandwich protein, featured 25 percent of the time, followed by bacon (15.4 percent) and turkey (14.8 percent).
- Year over year, operators increased their use of traditional condiments like mayonnaise, mustard and ranch dressing, and were less likely to menu alternatives like pesto, aioli, or vinaigrette.
Read more about trends and statistics.