Bread trends within the Coffee Shop sector
As the number of coffee shops in the UK continues to increase, so does competition for customers. And it’s not just about serving great coffee.
Although they’ve become ‘the’ place to grab a good coffee and something sweet for breakfast, or for a welcome coffee and cake boost later in the day, more and more consumers are heading to the coffee shop for lunch too.
But over recent years, with regular lunch breaks a thing of the past for most people, lunch has literally become a moveable feast. So it’s important that coffee shops provide food that fits round customers’ schedules, whatever time they might take lunch. Essentially it means an all-day menu offering.
Casual, convenient meals that can be quickly prepared and either eaten in, or taken away, are the best options. Naturally this includes sandwiches. But, because customers are becoming ever more discerning, they’re looking for something more than a bit of cheese or ham between two slices of white bread to accompany their cappuccinos.
As we know, there are two key elements to a great sandwich. Tasty filling and decent bread. Both offer a vast range of options and combinations to ensure consumers don’t develop menu fatigue.
Thinking back ten years or more, since coffee shops first championed panini, it is clear that it’s the regular introduction of new fillings (as well as cheese & ham!) that’s made sure panini stay a favourite menu item.
And although most bread products we regard as sandwich carriers have been around for some time, changing how they are presented helps to hold consumer interest (and custom).
Here are a few ideas that we like:
- Baguettes and crusty rolls have a fabulous crunch and flavour when freshly baked. It’s easy to bake-off small batches of part-baked bread at intervals throughout the day to make sure your sandwiches have that ‘just-baked’ appeal.
- Toasties remain a popular sandwich menu item – but why not use slices of ciabatta instead of standard bread to make a lighter, smaller alternative to panini?
- Wraps and bagels can also be lightly toasted to add a different taste and texture.
- Use flavoured or seeded and flavoured breads to complement sandwich fillings – another simple way to add excitement and interest to a sandwich menu.
- Brioche buns, although sweet, are seeing an increase in use as burger buns, and work very well with other savoury fillings. For example they can be used as a speciality breakfast bap in the morning or as a gourmet sandwich roll for lunch – perhaps filled with pulled pork, or houmous and avocado.
- Flatbreads, such as mezzalunas and piadinas, which are a bit thicker than wraps, can be folded over fillings, and make a delicious hand-held snack. Pitta breads can be used in a similar way.
- Gluten-free products are also growing in demand. Total Foodservice has a range of gluten free bread, which include sliced breads and rolls, suitable for both gluten and lactose intolerant customers.
What would John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, think if he could see how far his invention had developed since he first asked for some meat to be served between two slices of bread, so he could eat while he worked or gambled – depending which report you believe?
We think he’d be astonished!
For more information about Total Foodservice’s range of breads, please click here (or speak to your rep)