CHICAGO — Pumpkin pie, turkey, gravy, sweet potatoes, and green bean casserole are some of the time-honored tastes people look forward to every Thanksgiving Day, but they also top the list of day-after sandwich items, according to a new survey.
A recent nationwide survey conducted online by The Harris Poll, on behalf of Alpha Baking Co. Inc., the bakers behind S. Rosen’s bread, buns, and rolls, among over 2,000 U.S. adults set out to uncover America’s favorite Thanksgiving leftover sandwich. Ingredients and results ranged from traditional to transformative.
According to the survey, an overwhelming majority of Americans, 94 percent, dine on a Thanksgiving leftover sandwich. Key findings include:
· White bread (20 percent) was the bread winner for sandwich bases, with whole wheat and Hawaiian bread varieties following closely behind (15 percent each)
· Among those who make leftover Thanksgiving sandwiches, savory staples gravy (42 percent), ham (41 percent), and stuffing (39 percent) came in hot behind turkey (81 percent) as the most popular items that belong on a Thanksgiving leftover sandwich.
· Pumpkin pie-filled sandwiches made an impressive showing with 11 percent of those who make leftover Thanksgiving sandwiches calling it out as a “must have” ingredient.
· Casserole crazed? Americans love adding hot dish leftovers into their post-turkey day sandwiches, with Mac and Cheese (21 percent) Green Bean Casserole (14 percent) Corn and Corn Casserole (10 percent) Broccoli Casserole (9 percent) reported by survey participants.
When it comes to crafting the quintessential Thanksgiving leftover sandwich, more than half who use bread on their Thanksgiving leftover sandwich, 54 percent, say their bread selection is because it’s their favorite for all sandwiches.
“What the survey makes clear is that, while Americans may prefer myriad different ingredients on their Thanksgiving leftover sandwiches, we can all agree that a great bread is essential to any day-after-Thanksgiving sandwich,” said Tim Lotesto, Alpha Baking Co. vice president of retail sales. “As our founder liked to say, great sandwiches start with great bread; that’s something we believe so strongly here that we put it on all of our bread bags.”
“In honor of America’s preferences, we’ve curated five Thanksgiving Leftover Sandwich serving suggestions with some of the must-have ingredients called out in the survey, including gravy, cranberry, mac n’ cheese, sweet potatoes, and even pumpkin pie,” Lotesto added. For a full list, visit srosens.com/recipes/sandwiches.
According to the survey, nearly half, (47 percent) of Thanksgiving leftover sandwich makers include non-leftover ingredients in their culinary creations. Mayonnaise topped the list, with 47 percent saying they add it to theirs. However, mayo is used by this group of Baby Boomers (ages 65+) almost twice as much as Gen Z and Millennials combined (age 18-44) (63 percent vs. 35 percent).
Not surprisingly, cheese (34 percent) and tomato (22 percent), perennial sandwich staples, take the second and third spots for non-traditional ingredients. While bacon emerges as a popular non-leftover ingredient, 20 percent need it on their Thanksgiving leftover sandwiches. Gen Z and Millennials prefer it nearly twice that of Boomers.
Chips also made the list as a desirable non-leftover ingredient, with 15 percent incorporating the salty snack into their sandwiches. Notably, the younger generation (18-34) professes a deep love for crispy chips, enjoying them nearly three times as much as those aged 65+.