With a surge in sales reported in the last three months, it looks as if the commercial sandwich market will achieve solid growth over the year, contrary to some expectations.
So the sandwich industry should be heading for the Lunch! show in October in a reasonably positive mood. This new annual event, supported by the British Sandwich Association (BSA), has every prospect of becoming a showcase for the industry and is expected to attract even more buyers this year than it did in its first year. Taking place at Old Billingsgate Market (October 1 and 2), the event is being used by the BSA as a launchpad for a new package of training programmes for the industry and, to mark the occasion, it is organising a special Training Academy, run at the event, for people coming into the industry. Details can be found at www.lunchshow.co.uk.
The BSA has been concerned about the lack of adequate training for sandwich makers and has spent considerable time over the last year developing a suite of online training programmes specifically for the industry. It sees training as a critical factor in improving standards across the sector.
The autumn should also see the launch of a new Industry Guide for Sandwich Manufacturing, which is being produced by the BSA along with the Food Standards Agency. The guide is currently out on public consultation and should be finalised in November for publication. Anyone wishing to comment on the consultation will find the guide and a response form at www.sandwich.org.uk/fsa/.