Wraps for Health

 

Increasingly, sandwich chains and bakery cafes are rolling out wrap sandwiches as a healthy menu option, especially in the fast-growing breakfast sandwich category.

Wraps offer a simple and different option for consumers seeking healthful and grab-and-go sandwiches for breakfast and lunch. Wraps can be made with all types of breads, especially flatbreads, and tortillas.

Breakfast wrap sandwiches are driving sales for Subway, which offers four kinds of breakfast wraps including the most popular bacon, egg and cheese.

In addition, driving growth at Tim Hortons this year are successful limited-time offerings, including a croissant breakfast sandwich, grilled wraps and Nutella-filled pastries. A big contributor during the past year is the AM/PM grilled wraps.

“It’s something we launched in Q3 and allowed us to build both on our breakfast business, but also lunch,” says Josh Kobza, chief financial officer of Restaurant Brands International, which owns the Tim Hortons chain. “And I highlight that one in particular because I think it was a great way to leverage equipment we already had in the store. Relatively operationally simple innovation, but something that’s allowing us not just to build our base breakfast business, but also to utilize the restaurant more throughout the day and build our lunch business as well.”

Research shows that almost one in four Americans eat at a fast food chain restaurant once a day and eight in 10 people report eating fast food once a month. Yet many consumers find it difficult to wade through nutrition labeling and claims of “healthy” food at restaurants. To help navigate the waters, Grellin.org recently updated its previous rankings of chain restaurants.

For the newest rankings, Dr. Lenard Lesser and his team added several new chain restaurants to the list. Grellin has published new scores and findings of the healthiest chain restaurants in the U.S. on its website. Top ranking restaurants in healthier food options include Au Bon Pain, Rubio’s and Bruegger’s Bagels among others. In 2016 there was an increase in the number of restaurants providing more nutritional data on their items.

Gluten-free options are gaining as well. In addition to its signature gluten-free pizza, Florida-based Pat’s Place, which serves authentic Greek cuisine, is expanding its gluten-free menu with affordable options like sandwich wraps.

“As a gluten-intolerant person I know what it’s like to walk into a restaurant only to discover it has no gluten-free options,” said Patti Dooley, owner of Pat’s Place in Indian Harbour Beach, Florida.

New gluten-free menu items at Pat’s Place include wraps, chicken gyros, certain soups and all but one of its salads. “We kept most of the gluten-free prices the same as our regular items,” said Dooley. “Most restaurants tack on a higher price because they can. The gluten-free world wants good, safe food, and will, if necessary, pay extra for it. I don’t like that idea. I don’t want o take advantage of someone, especially when they don’t have other options and need to eat.”