These Top 50 Sandwich Innovators are Filling a Void in the Sandwich Segment

The time has come to reveal the ranking for the Top 50 Sandwich Innovators.

You read that right.

Foodable’s free Top 50 Sandwich Innovator report, brought to you by Miss Vickie’s, is out now!

In the free report, you will learn why high-quality ingredients are driving frequency in restaurant visits. The Restaurant Coach™ and Foodable’s industry expert contributor, Donald Burns, also breaks down who the Top 5 Sandwich Innovators are.

As a bonus, our team dives into what some of these top-performing brands are doing right, in terms of social media marketing. How are these brands engaging their audience? What is the style of their Instagram social feed? Why does it work for them? How can restaurants increase their restaurant visits by stepping up their visual marketing game? These are some of the questions this guide and report will answer.

Along with the informative pieces within the free guide and report, is the chance to learn more in-depth about three sandwich innovator concepts, through video and podcast interviews. For example, Foodable had the chance to chat with Hunter Pond, CEO and Founder of East Hampton Sandwich Co. (the highest-ranking sandwich innovator concept) in our upcoming episode of The Barron Report. 

Our host, Paul Barron, sets out to decipher whether or not this sandwich innovator brand has what it takes to become the next big player in the sandwich category. Listen in to learn how Pond, a law-school dropout, ended up developing one of the most talked about sandwich innovator concepts in Texas. His ability to identify a void in the sandwich market and come up with a winning formula to address the issue became the foundation for his successful regional brand. This podcast episode will leave you wondering: What’s next for East Hampton?

To get you started, watch the video above to learn about Matt and Marie’s, a sandwich innovator and a Philadelphia-based, Italian sandwich shop. This piece will touch on what sets it apart from the rest. It’s not the first time we chat with Nicole Marie Capp about her restaurant concept, which she co-founded with Justin Matt Sapolsky. In fact, Paul Barron interviewed her in one of the network’s Fast Casual Nation episodes. This time around we hear from her what it means to be a sandwich innovator.

To learn the ranking score of this innovative sandwich restaurant and others, be sure to check out our free Top 50 Sandwich Innovator report!

A Sneak Peek into the Top 50 Sandwich Innovator Report

A Sneak Peek into the Top 50 Sandwich Innovator Report

The Top 50 Sandwich Innovator Report identifies the emerging sandwich concepts that are dominating the segment and reveals some interesting trends in menus and consumer interest.

Although we’ve seen a downward trend of 6.8 percent, year over year, in overall restaurant traffic based on social media mentions, the 300 sandwich innovator brands have seen a traffic increase of 3.4 percent, according to Foodable Labs.

The report, which is slated to release sometime in July, will provide an analysis exploring the sandwich segment and trends. The segment has seen an upward trend as far as traffic in social media mentions is concerned, which is a great statement for the newcomers that are dominating the market.

It may have something to do with the move towards brand transparency and the use of higher-quality ingredients. In fact, Food Quality is one of the highest ranked sentiment scores at 78.9 points for the Top 50 Sandwich Innovator concepts since the younger demographics are gravitating more towards higher quality and convenient food options. This research also points to the increased popularity of higher-quality ingredient sides, like chips. Snack brands, like Miss Vickie’s, are leading the way in this segment, further advancing the high-quality ingredients trend.

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The Sandwich Recession: The Rise and Fall of Fast Casual Sandwich Sectors

The Sandwich Recession: The Rise and Fall of Fast Casual Sandwich Sectors

Fast casual sandwich concepts have fluctuated in the past years, but currently we are seeing a few shine with its customers. Thanks to fresh ingredients, catering options, and locally-sourced foods, these three sandwich spots are coming out on top. 

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Matt & Marie’s Is Revitalizing the Classic Italian Sandwich

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Video Produced by Denise Toledo

Marie Capp and Justin Saplosky met at the Wharton School of business, where one of their first conversations centered around their favorite sandwiches. Their passion for sandwiches and hospitality flourished into a catering business, and just a few weeks after graduating, the pair opened their first brick-and-mortar location in Philadelphia, Matt & Marie’s.

“I dreamed about being able to open my own restaurant since I was very young. Matt similarly said when he retires, he hopes to be able to own a sandwich shop,” Capp said.

It was a match made in sandwich heaven. When the two began brainstorming their menu, they wanted to modernize the classic Italian sandwiches.

“We loved the idea of centering the business around a sandwich. Fresh, healthy, high-quality Italian ingredients with a lot of pop,” she said.

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The pair turned to Chef Ryan Smith of New York Vintners to help them create a signature menu of sandwiches that hit on all five flavor profiles in every bite: sweet, salty, bitter, sour, and umami. Their elevated Italian classics have really resonated with their customers.  

“It’s something you would normally get at a nice Italian restaurant at night. Picking on a little sharp provolone, a little fennel salami. I say it’s lunch time. I want a charcuterie board on a piece of Italian bread.”

You can also get a little inventive at Matt & Marie’s. With a balance of sweet and spicy, their Ducati Dealer is their take on a Vietnamese bahn mi.

“If they trust that they can come to one location, but be able to experiment with what they get, it’s a slam dunk,” Capp said.

Check out how Matt & Marie’s is faring in the sandwich city of America on this episode of “Fast Casual Nation.”

The Sandwich Segment Sees Fast-Paced Growth

The Sandwich Segment Sees Fast-Paced Growth

Even though the U.S. fast-casual and quick-serve segments continue to explode with different choices in terms of cuisine and format, consumers are still reaching for the approachable and familiar sandwich for many of their meals.

The sandwich segment is growing at a fast pace, and U.S. consumers are visiting and interacting with top sandwich chains more than ever before, making it one of the fastest growing segments in the country. “The sandwich category is getting very competitive, not that it hasn’t been in recent years,“ says Foodable CEO Paul Barron. “Now we are seeing QSR+ make a very hard move into the space where they have not been evident in the past four quarters.”

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