A Cut Above

A Cut Above

7-Eleven Hawai'i's Improved Triangle Sandwich Program

Edna Ching | May 6, 2018

While sandwiches have become a staple in the United States because of its portability and versatility, its origins take us to the United Kingdom. The supposed inventor of this ubiquitous item was John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, an eighteenth-century aristocrat. The sandwich was created because the Earl needed a bite to eat while playing cards but needed something that would allow him to do both simultaneously. He requested for meat placed between two pieces of bread and others began ordering the same. Eventually, the Earl’s creation was referred to as a “sandwich”.

The sandwich made its way to the United States; and now is a mainstay among other popular eats like pizza and chicken wings. America loves sandwiches. According to QSR in its November 2, 2016 digital issue, seven out of 10 people say they eat sandwiches at least twice a week. Nearly one-third say they eat sandwiches three to five times per week.

Although Hawaii is not part of the contiguous 48 states, it too shares its love of sandwiches. And 7-Eleven Hawaii is “a cut above” when crafting them for all 65 neighborhood stores across the state. 7-Eleven Hawaii is at the forefront when it comes to continuous recipe improvements. Recently, it has worked with its commissary partner Warabeya, USA to redevelop a better sandwich.

The focus for this go-around was the bread and their salad fillings. For the bread, the 7-Eleven Hawaii Fresh Food Team sought the help of local artisan, La Tour Bakehouse. Together, they worked on creating a softer bread that doesn’t dry out upon arriving to its final destination. They achieved their goal by lowering the temperature and extending the bake time. In addition, slicing of each freshly baked loaf is done closer to when sandwiches are assembled at the commissary. The team went a step further and added 125% more wheat flour to its wheat bread.

Together, they worked on creating a softer bread that doesn’t dry out upon arriving to its final destination. They achieved their goal by lowering the temperature and extending the bake time. In addition, slicing of each freshly baked loaf is done closer to when sandwiches are assembled at the commissary.

Brandon Lam, President of La Tour comments that “7-Eleven bread is produced to ensure the best taste and texture when made into their premium sandwiches. We take into account production, cooling, slicing and delivery timing to provide bread at its ideal condition and as fresh as possible.” Science is very much a part of baking as Mr. Lam had described. Warabeya took it a step further and used a texture analyzer from Tensipresser® to validate the results.

Salad fillings are popular in Hawaii. And 7-Eleven Hawaii offers three versions – egg, chicken and tuna. Aside from the protein, the second most critical component is the mayonnaise. The Food Team researched which brand of mayonnaise reflects local tastes. Hands down, Best Foods was the front runner. To appeal to customers’ palates, they decided to upgrade its filling with Best Foods mayonnaise. The team didn’t stop at mayo. They also improved the texture of their egg and chicken salad. For the egg, larger pieces are used to achieve a more robust flavor and mouthfeel. For the chicken, ground bits were removed leaving only diced chicken. In addition, the chicken salad now has celery for a refreshing crunch.

Annika Streng, Sandwich Category Manager, states “At 7-Eleven Hawaii, we are committed to providing our guests with quality and value in all that we do. We are proud to rollout our new bread and sandwich fillings to our customers – and at no added cost to them.” May 6 is when Oahu stores will have the improved sandwiches available for sale. The next phase will be the neighbor islands. 7-Eleven Hawaii – always a cut above.