Pierre Foods says consumers like sandwiches but don't want to be "sandwiched in" when it comes to options and choices. 

Consumers like sandwiches but don't want to be "sandwiched in" when it comes to their options and choices. That's whyPierre Foods, Cincinnati, says it developed its latest line: Mercato Grille Paninis.

“Sandwiches are growing in popularity and consumers are looking for  better variety,” said Pierre Foods’ Vice President of Marketing Lisa  Frick. “Pierre’s new line of Mercato Grille Paninis provide foodservice  operators with five delicious flavor combinations that are not only easy  to prepare, but also offer consumers the hot, cheesy indulgence they crave.”

Fully-cooked and ready to  heat and serve, Pierre’s new panini line has five flavorful varieties: Traditional Italian; Turkey, Ham and Swiss;  Three Cheese and Tomato; Asiago Chicken; and Parmesan Chicken.

Frick says the foodservice industry’s sandwich category grew 19 percent between  2007 and 2009. She also cites more recent data from foodservice researcher Technomic, Chicago, that suggests consumers want more sandwich options and that more than one third of  consumers (36 percent) prefer a sandwich to be toasted or grilled. 

Pierre says new Mercato Grille Paninis not only provide variety, but also afford foodservice operators the flexibility of heat-and-serve convenience. Already assembled, Pierre’s paninis can be prepared with virtually no labor costs and no waste of  unused ingredients.

Pierre Foods says it supplies more than 1,000 different items, including more than 400 different types of full-size and mini  sandwiches plus beef, pork, poultry, bakery items, pastas, fruit cups and  peanut butter products. The company distributes to customers in all major channels, including retail, foodservice, convenience stores and vending.