It’s no secret that Americans love sandwiches, the simple food concept – slap ingredients between two pieces of bread – is ingrained (pun intended) in the country’s culture. In fact, according to food research firm Technomic, Inc., consumers eat more than three sandwiches per week, on average. However, Technomic notes that nearly half of these consumers are preparing sandwiches themselves. So, how do foodservice establishments entice consumers to purchase sandwiches away from the home? Go fish!
Experts agree: operators need to focus on high-quality ingredients and hard-to-duplicate sandwiches to attract consumers, making fish and seafood the perfect centerpiece.
Research shows that Americans prefer to eat seafood while dining out, in part due to apprehension of making it themselves at home. Dining establishments can leverage this tendency and pair it with the ongoing trend of healthful eating by offering seafood sandwiches on their menu.
From a salmon bánh mì to grilled whitefish with vegetables and avocado on a bun to a baked swordfish meatball sub, seafood offers versatile sandwich options that customers will love.
The versatile flavors and textures of seafood paired with myriad toppings, condiments, and bread choices, create the opportunity for countless combinations. If you’re building a seafood sandwich from scratch, here’s a guide:
- Begin with Bread – A general rule, the more moisture, the drier and denser the bread should be – and don’t forget about tortillas, pitas, and buns
- Spread it – Condiments and spreads add flavor and lend moisture to sandwiches
- Pack Protein – Seafood packs flavor and protein without adding a large amount of calories or saturated fat
- Cheese, Please – Layer sliced cheese as near to the bread as possible to help reinforce the sandwich, if melting: lay atop the protein to enhance flavors
- Load Produce – Think raw veggies, like the classic lettuce and tomato, to roasted and pickled varieties
- Cut carefully – Use a serrated knife, and use a long sawing motion
The Toast Trend
One of the country’s leading food trends right now is artisanal toast. While a well-done cinnamon sugar toast may fulfill your customers’ cravings for childhood comfort food, it will likely leave them hungry since there isn’t any meaningful amount of protein. Turn trendy toast from a treat to a satisfying snack or meal by using seafood as an unexpected topping.
The following combinations are both tasty and filling:
- smoked trout and cream cheese
- canned tuna and avocado
- smoked salmon and green olive spread
- crab with artichokes and pesto
- chopped shrimp with olive oil and garlic