During COVID and the supply chain headaches that came in its wake, San Ramon, Calif.-based Raybern’s focused on its core items, putting innovation on the back burner.

Now that the world is trying to get back to business as usual, the sandwich specialist is starting to experiment a bit more, said Lexi Levang, associate brand manager.

“Our core sandwiches are still our No. 1 priority, but as things are starting to stabilize, we’re looking at some different things.”

Raybern’s is partnering with some of the major retailers to work on some new item ideas that will launch in the next year.

Also on tap for later in 2023 are new non-sandwich grab-and-go items. It’s a way for Raybern’s to take advantage of its high-quality bread recipe, applying that same level of quality to new items.

Other trends Raybern’s is keeping a close eye for possible future products include Asian-inspired cuisine, hot honey and other forms of “sweet heat” and plant-forward items like breaded cauliflower instead of meat.

For Raybern’s, it not only has to be a great recipe, it has to hold up to reheating.

“We’re still kind of in the beginning planning stages, when comes to invention,” Levang said. “We have to see what’s possible from a grab-and-go user experience. It takes time to get it exactly right.”

Raybern’s continues to target two types of customers in particular with its grab-and-go sandwiches for grocery retail, Levang said: moms who are on the go and want something to feed their kids quickly, and single men who aren’t the biggest fans of cooking but want something easy, fast and high-quality for lunch or dinner.

Regardless of the customer, Raybern’s is bullish on the future of grab-and-go in the retail perimeter.

We are excited for what the future holds for Raybern’s," Levang said.