Sandwich industry stands to miss out on a slice of the market

The Australasian Sandwich Association (ASA) has announced that the local foodservice industry stands to potentially lose a generation’s worth of clientele, as research reveals a decline of almost 19 per cent in sandwich consumption over the last nine months amongst consumers aged 18-24 years.

According to research carried out by the NPD Group’s CREST service (for the nine months ending March 2011) young Australians are turning away from sandwiches as a meal option in significant numbers, with under 18s also consuming six per cent less sandwiches. 

"The huge declines in sandwich consumption by 18 to 24 year olds should be of real concern to café owners and foodservice professionals specialising in sandwiches.

"This is the age group that is making food purchasing decisions for the first time and setting a pattern for future food consumption in Australia," said Graeme McCormack, Executive Director of the Australasian Sandwich Association.

"If younger people turn away from sandwiches, it means that the next generation of sandwich consumers and café clientele may be lost."

Retail sales amongst food service providers specialising in sandwiches in Australia were $7.6 billion for the 12 months ending March 2011. However, the significant reduction in sandwiches being consumed by younger Australians could result in lasting changes to the industry and the broader economy.

"The downturn in sandwich consumption by young Australians is reflective of a trend that has affected the Australian foodservice industry over recent years. Where consumers’ palates have become more adventurous and demanding, the Australian sandwich industry has not innovated sufficiently to keep up with evolving tastes," said Graeme McCormack.

"As a result of programs like Masterchef, combined with a greater awareness of the need for healthy eating options, young people are looking for more from their lunches than they’re being given by some operators who provide below-grade sandwich offerings, either through a genuine lack of skill and food knowledge, simple ignorance or, at worst, an attitude of contempt for their customer’s needs. It is up to us as an industry to bring these businesses up to a respectable level, along with lifting our game overall to meet more demanding consumer expectations.’

To help put sandwiches back on the plates of young Australians, The Australasian Sandwich Association was recently developed to promote innovation in the industry, share knowledge among members, and showcase creative eating options to industry professionals and consumers alike. This has been done with the support of its inaugural members, including major players, GWF Foodservice and Fonterra.

The Australasian Sandwich Association is set to raise community awareness for the country’s lunchtime heroes through activities including a Kid’s Sandwich Masterclass at Crave International Food Festival, National Sandwich Week in October and the Great Australian Sandwichship program.

The Great Australian Sandwichship’s Northern Final will be held at Fine Food Sydney.The winner of the Great Australian Sandwichship Southern Final, Matt Wilkinson, Co-owner of Pope Joan in Victoria, will have his sandwiches judged against the yet-to-be-announced winner of the Northern Final to see who the nation’s supreme national sandwich-maker really is. The overall victor will then take their bread-wielding skills to the international stage at the World Sandwichship Final at Crave International Food Festival to see who the greatest sandwich artist in the world is.


Image courtesy of https://thecharmedmom.com

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