The British Sandwich Association (BSA) has launched its designer award to create new, innovative sandwich ideas for 2014.

The British Sandwich Designer of the Year award has been developed by the BSA to encourage innovation, demonstrating the versatility of the sandwich.

The competition, which will be judged through a series of regional heats, aims to recognise those who work behind the scenes to come up with innovative new recipes.

The competition is open to anyone in the sandwich-making industry.

Taking place over two weeks in March 2014, competitors from across the UK will attend five regional heats. These will be presided over by a panel of judges, followed by the final in London in May.

The winner will be announced at the British Sandwich Industry Awards in May, and will take both the accolade and a £500 cheque.

Jim Winship, director of the BSA, said: “Creativity has been a vital ingredient in helping to build this into a £6.5bn industry. It is important that we not only encourage innovation, but also recognise the creative skills of those coming up with new sandwiches, many of whom work behind the scenes in sandwich bars and production units.”

Consumers are also asked to nominate sandwich-makers who they believe are particularly creative.

According to the BSA, British consumers manage to eat 11.5bn sandwiches each year. More than 3.25bn sandwiches are purchased from retail or catering outlets annually.

The BSA defines a sandwich as “any form of bread with a filling, generally assembled cold - to include traditional wedge sandwiches, as well as filled rolls, baguettes, pitta, bloomers, wraps, bagels and the like, but not burgers and other products assembled and consumed hot. Hot eating sandwiches are also included.”

Dates and locations of the regional heats are:

London & South East: 10 March – Sevenoaks.

Midlands: 11 March – Northampton.

Scotland:  12 March – Livingston, West Lothian

North West:  13 March – Rudheath, Northwich

South West:  17 March– Clevedon, Bristol

Full details of the competition, and how to enter, can be found on the BSA’s website at  

Those who wish to compete are asked to register their interest by 7 January.