Captain D’s rolled out a new line of sandwiches that it is hoping will increase traffic to the lunch daypart and appeal to a younger customer base.

The new sandwiches were released last week as a way to “access people who are not normal visitors to a Captain D’s,” says the company’s executive vice president, Monte Jump.

“We skew a bit older demographic,” Jump says. “This is a way for us to leverage the consumer’s interest in having portable products. Consumers are on the go constantly, and this is a way for us to begin to play in that game.”

Customers can choose between a cod sandwich, which is made with panko-breaded North Pacific Cod, and a chicken sandwich, which is made with breaded, whole-breast, white-meat chicken.

They can then choose one of three different sandwich styles: Spicy Bayou, which includes a remoulade sauce and onion straws; Southwestern, with baja sauce and pico de gallo; and Bacon Ranch. Each sandwich is served on a toasted bun.

Jump says the company is hoping the sandwiches eventually become 8­–10 percent of Captain D’s overall sales mix. The leadership team is also hoping the sandwiches can boost lunch and drive-thru traffic, he says.

But the ultimate goal, Jump says, is for the sandwiches to evolve consumer perception of the Captain D’s brand.

“We’re hoping that people will begin to think about Captain D’s differently—that we’re not just about fried seafood—and it will influence a dinner decision,” he says. “They may not get the sandwich, but it will at least influence them to think about us in a different way.”

Marketing support for the new sandwiches launched today, and Jump says Captain D’s will send an invitation to e-mail subscribers inviting them to “like” the brand on Facebook. If they do, they’ll be rewarded with a coupon for a free sandwich with purchase of a side and drink, Jump says.

“Trial is so important on a product like this, particularly one where you haven’t done it before and you’re not known for doing it,” he says.

By Sam Oches

Menu Innovations, News, Sandwiches, Captain D's