Finsbury Food Group foodservice brand Kara is looking to help operators make the most of their sandwich offer as British Sandwich Week gets under way.

The week, which runs from 19-25 May, is a celebration of the sandwich, with activity across social media using the #BritishSandwichWeek.

Here are top tips from Kara commercial director Jane Olney on how foodservice businesses can tailor their menus to utilise their sandwich offerings.

Boost breakfast butties

Sandwiches have stolen a bigger slice of breakfast with their share of the occasion rising from 5.1% to 6.2% over the past year.

“The huge growth we have seen in sandwiches at breakfast time is inextricably linked to the rising consumer trend of the gourmet ‘breakfast sarnie’, with chefs pouring as much detail into a breakfast muffin as they would a three-course meal,” said Olney.

“To create a breakfast that can work as a delicious grab-and-go option during the week or to be enjoyed over a lazy weekend morning, operators should look to using tasty, premium options for their breakfast sandwiches.”

She suggested stepping it up from a simple sausage sandwich, for example, to a pork, sage & red onion Cumberland sausage with smoked bacon in an English muffin. Or add items such as hashbrowns, eggs or cheese to increase value and price points.

Consumers love the classics

The trend for premiumisation in sandwiches and their ingredients carries over into lunchtime as consumers are seeking classic combinations with a twist.

It’s particularly important as Kara noted nearly a third of lunch visits involved some form of sandwich carrier, whether a baguette, toasted sandwich or wrap – all of which have increased their share of the occasion.

“Interest in traditional fillings is making a resurgence as recent data revealed the top three sandwiches for everyday occasions were: cheese, ham & cheese and ham salad. Because of this, we would urge operators to get behind the trend by offering ‘dressed up’ versions of the much-loved classics,” Olney added.

This goes beyond using honey-roasted ham and paying attention to the bread-based carrier as well. “A more premium bread option, such as a malted wheat baguette or seeded deli roll, gives operators the opportunity to increase capital on classic concoctions,” she said.

Redefining day parts

If the explosion of brunch menus proves one thing, it’s that Brits today won’t be constrained by the traditional meal times of breakfast, lunch and dinner. And operators need to adapt.

“It’s no secret that our dining habits are changing. As our lives get busier, we’re no longer sticking to traditional meal times and eating on-the-go has become the norm,” explained Olney.

“With consumers now casting aside classic mealtimes, in favour of an ‘eat when hungry’ mentality, it couldn’t be a better time for operators to take advantage of the ever-so versatile gourmet sandwich, which can be adapted for any time of the day.”