Sandwiches losing out to street food, says new research

There has been a dip in the popularity of sandwiches, while sales of hot food and drinks are up, according to new research from labelling and eco packaging company Planglow.

Planglow estimates that hot food offerings now account for 8.6% - or nearly one in 12 grab-and-go purchases - which is a 2.5% increase in their market share.

Hot drink sales have risen too - by 2.2% - now commanding a tenth (10.2%) of the market.

The research is based on sales of more than 50 million compostable packaging products sold by Planglow over the past two years (April 2014 - March 2015 compared to April 2015 - March 2016).

Planglow’s marketing director Rachael Sawtell said: “The ‘street food boom’ is the principal driver behind this shift. What’s more, street food style offerings typically take a more flexible approach to mealtimes.”

The findings from Planglow suggest that, over the past year, sandwiches have lost a 6% slice of grab-and-go sales, but still retain a 63% market hold. 

Snacks, on the other hand, have remained consistently popular, with baked and bagged snacks accounting for around a sixth (16%) of out-of-home purchases for the second year running.

Sawtell added: “While sandwiches have lost a little ground, they still dominate the market and, if you sell baguette-based sandwiches, you should be on to winner because they really are by far and away the most popular.”

The company estimated that, in the last year alone, almost half (46%) of sandwiches sold within the UK were baguette-based and that one-fifth of the entire grab-and-go market is baguettes.

“Topping the bread charts is nothing new for baguettes – they have been the most popular carrier for some time - something we're calling the ‘Baguette Effect’ because, quite simply, consumers love a baguette-based sandwich,” said Sawtell.

Some 46% of all sandwiches being served out-of-home are baguette-based - a 2% increase on the previous 12 months. Wedges, too, have shown a 2% increase and now lay claim to just over a third (38%) of the sandwich market. Wraps have remained level at 4% - that’s one in every 25 sandwich purchases - while square-cut sandwiches have dropped from one in every six sandwiches consumed to one in eight.

For the second year running, Scottish consumers continued to enjoy the most hot beverages out-of-home, equating to more than a fifth (21%) of the country’s total grab-and-go sales.

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