Positives for paninis

Panini grills such as this Roband grill station from Metcalfe are forecasted to grow strongly.

Research analyst 360 Market Updates has recently published a report on the commercial panini grill sector, forecasting it to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.48%.

The research covers all types of countertop grills, including sandwich grills, panini press, and contact grills. This includes commercial grills and griddles sold to end users such as quick service restaurants (QSRs), full service restaurants (FSRs), fast casual restaurants (FCRs), cafés, bakeries, clubs, and pubs, hotels, and catering companies.

In 2016, according to the analysts, the global commercial panini grills market accounted for an 8.32% share of the global commercial grills and griddles market.

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The firm deems one driver in market as increasing demand for premium sandwiches. This is reflected around the world, with foodservice establishments introducing new artisan and handcrafted sandwiches in their menu offerings.

Similarly, various foodservice establishments worldwide are also expanding their food menu offerings and introducing new kinds of panini sandwiches. 360 Market Updates believes this is also directly influencing the growth of the global commercial panini grills market. For instance, in early 2016, the African-influenced Kusafiri Coffee Shop and Bakery in the US expanded its menu by introducing four new paninis.

But according to the research, one challenge is the prevailing market for used equipment. Premium foodservice establishments such as steakhouses, QSRs, and FSR chains offering food prepared in panini grills prefer good quality and high-end panini grill models. These end users are required to provide consistently cooked food at higher volumes with shorter cooking time.

However, some of the independent foodservice establishments that are price-sensitive prefer to invest in low-cost commercial kitchen equipment to maximise profit margins. These price-sensitive end users look for good quality commercial panini grills at low prices and are not averse to using second hand equipment. Online outlets such as eBay and Bakedeco can provide these units. For instance, Waring’s WPG250 400mm x 280mm panini grill model, with a list price of around $450 (£340), is available on online portals for as low as $160 (£120). Similarly, the Avantco P70S smooth commercial panini sandwich grill model is offered at around a 25% lower price.

One trend in market is advancement in technology. The vendors of commercial panini grill equipment are introducing newer and innovative technology to enhance the ease of operation, which also contributes to better user experience. For instance, in the US, Nemco Food Equipment provides the PaniniPro High-Speed Sandwich Press with programmable settings. The built-in USB port can be used to upload and download instructions, which should lead to consistency in cooking grilled sandwiches.

In addition to this, Star Manufacturing International also provides panini grills with electronic temperature control. The users do not need to manually adjust the temperature through the thermostat. Various push buttons are provided for different temperature settings for different types of food items, and the temperature range is between 80°C and 280°C.

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