Culinary Trends - Globally Inspired Sandwiches - Presented by Conagra Foodservice | September 2017


The humble sandwich is one of the few items that can truly span foodservice segments, cuisine types AND dayparts — it's found on 73% of restaurant menus. And with so many unique sandwiches found all over the world, authentic global street food can serve to inspire menu innovation right here in the U.S. For example, 51% of consumers say grilled cheese is their favorite sandwich. Why not add global flair to this classic with Chihuahua cheese, halloumi, Manchego or kasseri? Adventurous eaters are embracing ingredients such as chimichurri, wasabi, kimchi and tzatziki sauce on sandwiches, too. Take advantage of the universal appeal of sandwiches by introducing bold international flavors into your breakfast, LTO and signature lunch offerings.


Conagra Foodservice put a tasty spin on the classic Mexican sandwich with our Torta de Lechon Asado. Here's a breakdown of every delicious element!

  1. Bolillo roll from the Spanish word for "torpedo," this roll was inspired by baguettes brought over from France in the late 1800s
  2. Pork shoulder commonly found in tortas in the Yucatán
  3. Tomato-citrus marinade Angela Mia® Diced Tomatoes in Juice, Valencia orange juice and spices ensure fork-tender pulled pork
  4. Hot and tangy tomato jam a sweet and spicy combo of Angela Mia® Diced Tomatoes in Juice and Rosarita® Diced Green Chiles, orange juice and brown sugar
  5. Romaine lettuce and green cabbage add crisp texture to the torta
  6. Queso quesadilla rich, creamy melting cheese

Chef Tips

An easy way to introduce global flavor to your sandwich menu is by swapping just one ingredient or component to create a new signature item. Authentic breads, proteins, cheeses, vegetables and condiments can serve to add an element of the unfamiliar to an already popular sandwich — creating a fresh twist on a classic!

  • Treat hummus as a condiment, and spice it up with harissa, gochujang or chipotle.
  • Mix up your mustard — start with Gulden's® Spicy Brown Mustard and add chopped dill pickle, minced garlic, lime juice and jalapeño to create a mojo-mustard relish, perfect for Cuban sandwiches; soy sauce, sugar, rice vinegar, mirin and sake for a Japanese-inspired marinade; or mayonnaise and caramelized onion to dress up German bratwurst.
  • Serve up flavorful marinated meats such as braised pork carnitas or bulgogi beef in all sorts of handheld items — including sliders, tacos and lettuce wraps, to name a few.
  • Get creative with carriers, using pita, naan, biscuits, waffles or Chinese steamed buns instead of traditional sliced loaves.
  • Give a handcrafted touch to sauces and dressings, such as savory tomato jam made with Angela Mia® Diced Tomatoes in Juice (see below for the recipe!).
By the number

Sandwiches, street food and other handheld specialties from around the world can be found on menus here in the U.S. Here are some of the dishes making an impact:

  • 195% banh mi
  • 45% shawarma
  • 45% falafel
  • 33% Cuban sandwich
  • 54% bao

* Datassential MenuTrends, U.S. menu penetration growth 2013-2017.

Start with a menu staple, the Hebrew National® Beef Frank, and add international flair with easy recipe ideas — it's one ingredient, three ways. Watch our video!


Zesty sauces and condiments inspired by both global and regional American cuisines will make exciting additions to your menu. Try these recipes or visit our website for more!

Fire-Roasted Black Bean Burger

This Southwestern-inspired black bean burger features double the Rosarita® Fire Roasted Tomato Salsa: in the burger patty itself and as the foundation of a fire-roasted ketchup.

Tomato Jam and Bacon Grilled Flatbread

This appealing appetizer is perfect for slicing and sharing! It features a savory jam made with Angela Mia® Diced Tomatoes in Juice, along with crispy bacon, baby spinach, arugula and shaved Parmesan.


Quick Dish

From up-and-coming varieties to hot condiments, the stats on sandwiches paint a compelling picture.

  • 46%
    of consumers want to try cemitas, the traditional sandwiches of Puebla, Mexico.1
  • 47%
    of consumers say all components of a sandwich are equally important.1
  • 74%
    growth of harissa on menus over the past four years.2
  • 70%
    of chefs say dishes inspired by street food are a hot trend for 2017.3

1 Datassential, "Foodbytes," June 2017. 2 Datassential MenuTrends, U.S. menu penetration growth 2013-2017. 3 National Restaurant Association, "What's Hot 2017 Culinary Forecast," 2016.


Consumer demand for quality on the go is driving innovation in the c-store segment. Sandwiches, wraps, flatbreads and burgers with non-traditional flavors are helping to drive repeat business and reposition the c-store as a dependable breakfast or lunch option.

  • Bold flavor can be found throughout WAWA's hot sandwich offerings, including a Sriracha Roasted Chicken Sandwich.
  • Hawthorn Market & Café on the Iowa State University campus brings signature flavor to the convenience segment, with a Cuban Chicken Sandwich on focaccia with ham, Swiss, Dijon mustard, sundried tomato mayo and pickles.
  • Sheetz offers online ordering for their food menu, with items such as a Screamin' Pork Burrito featuring habanero sauce, jalapeño, pico, guacamole, rice, beans and Colby Jack.


Angela Mia® Diced Tomatoes in Juice will soon be available in a CONVENIENT NEW POUCH! It features an easy-open tear strip, so no can opener is needed. The pouch simplifies back-of-house prep; it's safe to handle and takes up less space in the trash than traditional cans, too.

Bob Phillips, "Behold the Transformation of C-store Sandwiches," Convenience Store News, March 30, 2016.
Datassential, "Foodbytes," June 2017.
"Fresh Ideas Sell Sandwiches," Convenience Store Decisions, March 3, 2017.
Naomi Tomky, "Spicy, Seared, Smothered, Stacked: An Introduction to Mexican Sandwiches," Serious Eats, January 2015.