Delifrance sandwich opinion piece

Source: Délifrance

To celebrate National Sandwich Day (3 November), we caught up with Paul Beard, head bakery and pastry chef at baked goods manufacturer Délifrance, for a deep dive into the UK sandwich market. 

Here, he shares insights on the most popular breads right now and his future predictions for the sector, as well as top tips on how to craft the perfect sandwich:


“Sandwiches are undeniably the reigning champions among bread enthusiasts, with 56% of consumers surveyed deeming them the most delightful way to savour their bread.

Currently, we know that preferences for sandwich bread lean towards crusty rolls and the wholesome goodness of brown, wholemeal and multi-seed varieties. And simplicity prevails in the filling department, with cheese and bacon head-to-head as the most popular ingredients for 28% of respondents.

Read: How are sandwich trends influencing the market?

However, with 26% of those surveyed saying they are actively reducing bread consumption, we’ve seen an uptick in demand for healthier options. For example, a significant 40% of sandwich aficionados are in search of high fibre breads, while 38% are seeking bread that’s enriched with extra grains.

We also know that more than one in five want functional breads such as sourdough, which is high in protein. The good news for bakery outlets is that consumers recognise the value of health, with those purchasing seeded bread more willing to pay a premium.

When it comes to Délifrance breads and those favoured for sandwich creation, our sourdough half baguette and bloomer varieties are leading the charge, aligning perfectly with the current trends. It’s no secret that the UK has a soft spot for Italian food, so Italian breads are always in demand too, whether it’s ciabatta, focaccia, or rolls like giotto.

Delifrance sandwich carriers

Source: Délifrance

Market predictions

Over the next six to 12 months, the sandwich market is set to move to a new level. It’s no longer just about two slices of bread holding fillings together; sandwiches are evolving into gourmet creations. Top restaurants and chefs are now proudly serving ‘upscale’ sandwiches.

We’re seeing vegetarian, Mexican and Vietnamese influences take centre stage. And oversized sandwiches filled with an abundance of ingredients are fast becoming a favourite among customers with hearty appetites.

Matching and pairing ingredients, a practice well-known in gourmet cuisine, is now the norm in the sandwich world. For example, we’re seeing the innovative use of interesting cheeses and vegetables to enhance both flavour and texture.

The choices are limitless, and the days of ‘is that with white or brown bread?’ are long gone. Building a sandwich is now akin to crafting a quality recipe, where both appearance and taste are the priority.

Furthermore, the rise of sandwich building stations, where customers can choose from a wide range of bread and fillings, whether hot or cold, is making the sandwich experience more interactive.

Sandwiches for special occasions and seasons are also gaining popularity, offering an ever-changing menu to keep customers coming back for more. From coronations to seasonal ingredient showcases, the sandwich market is continuously evolving, presenting opportunities for businesses to innovate.

Crafting the perfect sandwich:

  1. Choose the best carrier that complements your ingredients and caters to how consumers prefer to enjoy their sandwiches.
  2. Use quality, versatile ingredients that can be shared across different recipes, helping to reduce costs and minimise waste.
  3. Think flavour, texture, and colour to elevate your sandwich – ie. add a burst of flavour, a delightful textural contrast such as something that adds a bit of crunch, and a splash of colour.
  4. Think about your pairings to consider “what works well with what” and ensure you tantalise the taste buds!
  5. Unleash your creativity and don’t be afraid to experiment and get creative – the perfect sandwich is a canvas for culinary innovation.

As we celebrate National Sandwich Day, it’s evident that the sandwich market is evolving rapidly. To thrive, operators must stay attuned to future trends and offer innovative, high-quality products that cater to the changing tastes of consumers.”


Paul Beard, Head Bakery and Pastry Chef at Délifrance

Source: Délifrance

Paul Beard, head bakery and pastry chef at Délifrance

Paul Beard has four decades of experience in the baking sector, having started out as a bakery specialist at Sainsbury’s in 1983. A 16-year stint with the retailer saw him progress to catering operations manager in both the UK and US.

Since joining Délifrance as head chef in 2007 he has become a committee member of the Association of Pastry Chefs, a member of both the Craft Guild of Chefs and the British Culinary Federation.

He boasts a wealth of experience and understanding of the industry, coupled with knowledge of a wide range of products, ingredients and processing, and strong customer relationship management skills.