5 ways to wrap it up

wraps foodservice retail

For foodservice and retail outlets that handle grab-and-go breakfast and lunch traffic, menuing a compelling selection of wraps is a savvy strategy to fuel repeat business.

Wraps are especially appealing to customers seeking portable, fresh, lighter options. According to Technomic’s 2016 Sandwich Consumer Trend Report, powered by Ignite, half of consumers purchase a wrap away from home at least once a month; Technomic’s 2016 Snacking Occasion Consumer Trend Report found wraps are a popular snack choice, with half of the consumers surveyed reporting wrap purchases from retail locations.

Evolving into a go-to wrap destination means keeping a few considerations in mind:

Freshness is a must

A major plus for wraps is the perception of freshness—that spiral of bright, appealing ingredients peeking out from the halved sandwich. It’s important that what goes out the door holds up and tastes fresh. A visible prep line reinforces the fresh message, as do time-stamped labels, butcher paper wrapping and displays of see-through containers.

Use top quality ingredients to ramp up the flavor

Wraps typically follow a simple construction plan: a shell, a schmear, produce and protein, maybe something pickled or fermented or a splash of dressing. Each one of those elements should bring something to the party. A dash of Sriracha, harissa, curry, tahini, wasabi, aioli, chutney and other trending ethnic ingredients will elevate the flavor, as will herb- and vegetable-infused tortillas or flatbreads.

Mix up the menu

While it’s important to address traditionalists who will always crave their turkey Swiss or hummus wrap, rotating at least some of the selection regularly is a way to pique interest among customers, whether they are regular wrap fans or not. Look to the seasons for inspiration: barbecue and fresh tomatoes in the summer, roasted turkey and cranberry relish in the fall, root vegetables and heavier fillings in the winter, lighter fresh greens in the spring. Promoting a weekly LTO wrap is a way to stir up interest and test new varieties.

Don’t forget snackers

Half wraps are a perfect portion size for snacking, a niche that continues to grow. No matter what the size of the wraps, though, making sure they’re constructed for handheld ease is essential, since 60% of consumers say they consume snacks from foodservice locations within a half-hour of purchasing them, according to Technomic. That means careful assembly and rolling as well as secure packaging are key.

Pack them up properly

Fillings tightly wound into a wrap don’t hold up as well in plastic wrap—they can get a little soggy. To ensure quality, many operators opt to roll wraps in paper or display them in clear clamshell containers, with the two halves anchored by toothpicks. Whichever you choose, it’s important to ensure those artfully constructed wraps make it to their destination without unraveling or suffering in quality.

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