Retail Foodservice

Food Retailers Poised to Recapture Sandwich Sales

Photograph: Shutterstock

Grocers are in a prime position to drive increased sales of prepared foods as consumers begin to return to work or grow tired of cooking at home. 

While many supermarkets experienced strong sales volumes during the pandemic, their prepared foods offerings often did not fare as well. Overall, grocers cut back on prepared foods, including sandwiches, according to the International Dairy Deli Bakery Association. Many retailers shuttered their bakery and deli departments to minimize interactions between staff and customers, particularly in the early weeks of the pandemic. 

Consumers, meanwhile, stocked up on shelf-stable items such as canned soup, pasta and frozen foods, and many turned to shopping online, where grab-and-go-convenience items tended to take a back seat to pantry supplies. 

Now that more consumers are resuming many of their normal activities, food retailers have an opportunity to lure customers back to grab-and-go prepared foods with prepackaged items such as restaurant-quality sandwiches they can enjoy at home or in the office. After months of cooking from scratch or microwaving frozen items, many consumers are looking for tasty, convenient meal solutions.

“Finding the right items suitable for packaged sales versus self-serve is key in rebuilding assortment in deli-prepared,” said Eric Richard, industry relations coordinator with IDDBA, in a recent report. “Store trips, evening activities, working away from home and many more areas that were highly affected by the pandemic are slowly starting to normalize. As commuting and out-of-the-home activities start to gear up, it is important to answer the demand for convenient, ready-to-eat meals in deli prepared with a wider, relevant assortment while addressing consumers’ new normal as it relates to changed self-service preferences.”

Before the pandemic, food retailers had built up their reputations as viable destinations for high-quality prepared foods, including grab-and-go sandwiches and wraps. Consumers eager for a return to normalcy will welcome the opportunity to add these items to their baskets as they fulfill their grocery shopping needs and continue to seek one-stop shopping solutions.

Offering high-quality, individually wrapped sandwiches from reliable suppliers such as E.A. Sween Co. gives food retailers a grab-and-go option that requires little labor and strong impulse appeal. The company’s Market Sandwich line includes a variety of styles to meet the demands of your individual customer base. Select from Artisan Style sandwiches, wraps, subs and even more unique items such as the Everything Bagel Sandwich and the Ham & Swiss on a Pretzel Bun.   

To learn more about how sandwiches from E.A. Sween can revitalize grocery grab-and-go offerings, visit

This post is sponsored by E.A. Sween