Why Your Business Should Celebrate National Grilled Cheese Month

Why Your Business Should Celebrate National Grilled Cheese Month

April is National Grilled Cheese Month and over the next few weeks, we will share tips and information that pay homage to this classic comfort food. As your foodservice partner, we are excited to shed light on why it makes good business sense to celebrate this month, and offer insight on how you can make this already great sandwich out-of-this-world incredible in the eyes of your customers.

Technomic’s The Sandwich Consumer Trend Report (2014), polled 1,500 consumers aged 18 and older, and found that 30% of the group ate five or more sandwiches per week, and 34% ate three to four. Considering the popularity of sandwiches, paired with the finding that 33% of respondents say they view sandwiches as an ideal format to try new and unique flavors and ingredients, the grilled cheese becomes a golden opportunity to rethink your sandwich offerings.

Consumers place higher importance on the quality of bread, cheese and condiments of their sandwiches than ever before. In fact, of 1,031 consumers polled, Technomic found that 43% would be willing to pay more for sandwiches made with premium or higher-quality ingredients (excluding condiments). Further, “Most consumers say they are more likely to purchase and pay more for sandwiches described as ‘fresh’ (55%) and ‘prepared daily’ (51%), and 44% say the same for sandwiches described as ‘homemade’ or ‘house-made’.” It is clear that creating and marketing sandwiches that emphasize quality ingredients, freshness and being made in-house is one strategy for piquing consumers’ interest and enhancing revenue through sandwich offerings.

Here are three ideas to inspire you, along with Technomic statistics highlighting how these sandwiches align with consumer preferences.

Italian Grilled Cheese

On thinly sliced focaccia bread, layer sliced mozzarella and provolone, sliced red onion, fresh basil leaves, and sliced tomato (remove seeds and excess moisture). Top with oregano and a drizzle of spicy chili oil before adding more cheese and topping with other piece of focaccia. Grill in a pan or panini press.

Why this sandwich makes sense for your business:

  • Of 1,500 respondents, 71% reported they would consider ordering an Italian sandwich
  • Of 498 lunch consumers and 499 dinner consumers who order sandwiches, 40% and 41% (respectively) would order lunch and dinner sandwiches with mozzarella
  • Technominc anticipates the trend of spicy sandwiches will continue gaining ground

English Breakfast Grilled Cheese

Place American cheese slices on half an English muffin. Top with second half of English muffin and grill in a pan or panini press. After cheese has melted, open sandwich up and layer crisp bacon, thinly sliced cooked pork breakfast sausage and scrambled egg. Close sandwich, return to pan or press for a few moments, and serve with a side of house-made ketchup.

Why this sandwich makes sense for your business:

  • 69% of consumers reported they would most likely order a breakfast sandwich with scrambled egg
  • “Pork is a trending sandwich protein. Independents even feature multiple uses of pork on one sandwich.”
  • Of 1,008 consumers aged 18 and older, 43% prefer the condiments and spreads that come with their sandwiches at restaurants to be served on the side so they can use them as a dip

Garden Grilled Cheese

Spread roasted red pepper jam on a thin slice of ciabatta and layer on Swiss cheese slices. Top with another slice of ciabatta with pesto spread, and grill in a pan or panini press. After cheese has melted, open sandwich and add sliced avocado, fresh spinach leaves, caramelized onions, tomato (remove seeds and excess moisture), and house-made potato chips. Close sandwich, return to pan or panini press for a few moments, and serve.

Why this sandwich makes sense for your business:

  • Top 500 LSRs, especially QSRs, differentiate sandwiches through premium and nontraditional breads, like ciabatta
  • Of 498 lunch consumers and 499 dinner consumers who order sandwiches, 43% in each group would order lunch and dinner sandwiches with Swiss cheese
  • “Consumers say they would like restaurants to offer more types of vegetarian sandwiches that feature ingredients such as tofu, avocado and sprouts.”

Join Canada Bread Foodservice in celebrating National Grilled Cheese Month! This is a great time to rethink many ingredients you likely already work with each day. We hope the ideas and stats we have shared here will inspire you to view this special month as an opportunity to try new things and potentially uncover new successes.