By Max Jenvey of Oxxygen Marketing Partnership, a strategic business agency, specialising in the bakery, foodservice and convenience retail sectors

This year’s Café+ Live@CRS, Birmingham NEC 21-24 March was the best ever. Oxxygen was there to unite top brands such as Costa, Café Torelli, Market Fresh, Greencore, PepsiCo., him! and many others, not only to give independent retailers, bakers and café owners the latest industry trends and insights, but also to demonstrate successful selling strategies. Café+ Live’s goal is to make all the presentations interactive and demonstrate practical best practice in partnership with William Reed Business Media. It was definitely the most successful feature area both in terms of visitor numbers and guest speakers.

Our colleagues from him! presented the most up-to-date sandwich customer insights and told us that almost 60% of sandwich customers are male, have an average age of 38 and 68% of them work full-time. Women still enjoy their sandwiches too; however think healthier, softer and smaller bread carriers with lighter fillings, as him! suggests this will attract more females.

The food-to-go sandwich shopper spends on average £6.05, which is almost £1 more than the average shopper (him!). This also means that our sandwich shoppers are buying more than just sandwiches. With the sandwich customer’s 2.7 (average) visits per week they buy 3.5 items on average, such as freshly baked products, chocolate bars, crisps, and cold drinks (him!). One of him!’s top tips is to make sure that these categories are merchandised close to the sandwiches in-store to increase impulse opportunities. Moreover, good value for money, fast and friendly service and availability are key to bakery and convenience sandwich shoppers and remember that 28% rate the most important factor for deciding where to buy lunch is the choice of sandwich fillings available in-store.

In our next article we will review more facts, insights and selling strategies in the bakery, coffee shop and convenience market.