HORSHAM, Pa., March 29, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Grilled cheese is an American staple with a cult-like following of loyal fans. It is often considered a classic meal, but for many Americans, it's an opportunity to experiment and get creative with food, but just how creative? A recent national survey conducted in honor of April's National Grilled Cheese Month by Sara Lee®, makers of delicious bread, buns, rolls and breakfast products — including Artesano™ bread — revealed nationwide preferences when it comes to the beloved cheesy sandwich. The data uncovered that there are not only two sides to a grilled cheese sandwich (literally) but also two sides to grilled cheese enthusiasts — those who prefer the cheesy sandwich in its simplest form (only bread and cheese) and those who are willing to get creative with their ingredients.
For many Americans, dubbed the "Traditionalists," the sandwich is best left as is with a classic cheese variety between two slices of timeless white bread. For others, in more of the "Adventurists" camp, there is no limit to grilled cheese ingredient experimentation. In fact, the survey uncovered that those with blonde hair are most likely to try new ingredients in their sandwiches — 82 percent of blonde Americans surveyed said they'd prefer more than just cheese on their grilled cheese sandwiches, compared to only 67 percent of brunettes.
"No matter which side you fall on, an overwhelming 89 percent of respondents agreed that the great thing about grilled cheese is that it can always be a little different, meaning consumers can customize their sandwiches in a way that's unique to their individual tastes," said Ben Buch, Brand Manager for Sara Lee bread. "Artesano bread serves as the perfect canvas to whatever grilled cheese creation you're craving this National Grilled Cheese Month, whether it has surprising ingredients or just a classic take with cheese."
To celebrate National Grilled Cheese Month in April, and National Grilled Cheese Day on April 12, Sara Lee has partnered with MacKenzie Smith, creator of Grilled Cheese Social, to test the limits of consumers' love for the iconic, ooey-gooey sandwich by creating new grilled cheese recipes inspired by the survey results using Artesano bread, which was recently named 2017's best specialty bread by Product of the Year. Sara Lee's survey, which was conducted online with 2,030 U.S. consumers age 18+, unveiled the following findings about these two, equally passionate types of grilled cheese lovers:
Fifty-five percent of those surveyed can be classified as grilled cheese Traditionalists, meaning there's only one kind of cheese for them, with the survey finding the two most popular cheese options are American or cheddar. More than a quarter of Americans feel a grilled cheese should be kept to just the main ingredients — bread and cheese, and nothing more — but if these purists had to choose additional fillings, they would most likely include tomato (39%), bacon (38%), ham/pork (32%), or eggs (22%).
So, who are these grilled cheese Traditionalists? The survey unveiled that they're most likely brunettes, in their 30s, or over the age of 55. For instance, those 55+ were more likely to say they would never try the following inside their grilled cheese sandwich: pickles (50%), avocado (49%), onions (43%), or turkey (30%).
To appease the simpler palates of these grilled cheese Traditionalists, Smith developed the following recipe:
- Rainbow Grilled Cheese Rainbow versions of bagels, cakes, cookies — and even pizza — are taking the world by storm. Just in time for Grilled Cheese Month, Smith has applied this multicolor food trend to the cheesy sandwich. Perfect for those who'd prefer not to take the plunge into new flavors, Smith has created a rainbow-hued recipe that maintains the same taste Traditionalists love, but with fun flair to spice up the sandwich's look — a grilled cheese with a colorful palette for those with simpler palates. This colorful creation works best with a blend of cheeses in a variety of bright hues, but can be easily adapted to a one-cheese sandwich.
The grilled cheese Adventurists are the ones who are up for a thrill-seeking sandwich experience. In fact, the survey uncovered that almost two-thirds of Americans would eat a "mystery" grilled cheese without having a clue what's inside or even what type of cheese is included, and it's more likely that these Adventurists are blondes. Those with a child in the household are also more likely to try a mystery grilled cheese.
How adventurous are this group of grilled-cheese lovers willing to get? More than one in five respondents will put onions on their grilled cheese sandwich (22%), and almost that amount will include pickles or avocado, while one in ten will include apples. The write-in fillings, however, were where the true Adventurists really shined. Their "something else" grilled cheese accompaniments included everything from mayonnaise or mustard, to tuna, sauerkraut, peanut butter or jelly/chutney. Additionally, 17 percent of respondents prefer a mix of cheeses as the core of their sandwiches.
To satisfy these thrill-seeking sandwich eaters, Smith created these new grilled cheese recipes:
- The PBJ & Cheese This food mash-up takes two of America's favorite sandwiches — the peanut butter and jelly sandwich and a classic grilled cheese — and brings them together to make one harmonious pairing. It doesn't get better than peanut butter and jalapeno blackberry jam, coupled with white cheddar cheese and topped with two slices of bacon.
- Tasty 24/7 Grilled Cheese This delicious, yet unexpected pairing is sure to please the most adventurous eaters among us — complete with sautéed shaved Brussels sprouts, some bacon crumbles, a seven-minute egg and three slices of Muenster cheese. You can't quite put your finger on what it is that makes it so special, but with this sandwich, you really can't go wrong for breakfast, lunch or dinner, as it includes most of the food groups consumers eat daily.
"I'm definitely a grilled cheese Adventurist, and I love that I represent my fellow risk-taking blondes well," said Smith, a sandwich expert and social media foodie who founded Grilled Cheese Social, a popular food blog for grilled cheese enthusiasts like herself. "I'm always mixing it up, and trying out new recipes and fresh ways to put a twist on grilled cheese. The PBJ & Cheese is definitely one of my favorites, but the Rainbow Grilled Cheese is a fun take on the classic grilled cheese sandwich, and I think the colorful twist really encourages people to experiment with their food and try new things."
Consumers can celebrate National Grilled Cheese Month at home — where 77 percent of respondents prefer to eat a grilled cheese sandwich — by visiting https://www.saraleebread.com/recipes and downloading these recipes and more.
Sara Lee Artesano bread, available in the bread aisle of grocery stores and major food retailers nationwide, has a handmade taste and mouthwateringly soft texture. Sliced thick and ringed with a golden crust, the bread is rich with flavor and has a distinctly creamy character. It is without artificial flavors, colors or high-fructose corn syrup, and serves as an ideal bread for your everyday — whether toasting it at breakfast or including it in a favorite sandwich at lunch. For more information about Artesano and other Sara Lee bread products, please visit www.saraleebread.com.
#ArtesanoBread says blondes have more fun with their #GrilledCheese -- we're getting all sorts of cheesy this #NationalGrilledCheeseMonth
About Bimbo Bakeries USA
Bimbo Bakeries USA (BBU) is a leader in the baking industry, known for its category leading brands, innovative products, freshness and quality. Our team of 20,000 U.S. associates operates more than 50 manufacturing locations in the United States. Over 11,000 distribution routes deliver our leading brands such as Arnold®, Bimbo®, Boboli®, Brownberry®, Entenmann's®, Freihofer's®, Heiner's™, Marinela®, Mrs Baird's®, Nature's Harvest®, Oroweat®, Sara Lee®, Stroehmann®, Thomas'®, and Tia Rosa®. BBU is owned by Mexico's Grupo Bimbo, S.A.B de C.V., the world's largest baking company with operations in 22 countries.
SOURCE Sara Lee Bread