Cheap and ’recession-busting’ sandwich ranges threaten to undermine consumer perceptions of quality and value for money in the category, according to a new report from the British Sandwich Association.

The report found that while the UK market has grown by 3.6% in the last year to reach a value of over £6bn, average prices being charged by some retailers are the same or lower now than they were in 2007, despite food cost inflation of around 10% and a 4% rise in general inflation since then.

Static prices are due, in part, to the launch of ’value’ sandwich ranges targeting price-conscious consumers.

"This may be understandable in recession, but the industry needs to take care that it does not result in consumer perceptions of the quality and value for money becoming undermined," said the report.

Other concerns included product blandness due to reductions in salt and fat content to meet government targets; a lack of innovation due to cutting back on new product development budgets; and reduced consumer choice as a result of restructuring of shelves.