Celebrating 250 years of sandwiches

16/12/2011 - 00:00
The sandwich is 250 years old in 2012 and the British Sandwich Association is planning to mark the occasion with a year-long national campaign to promote sandwiches which should benefit everyone with an interest in this massive £6 billion market.

Starting in January with the consumer announcement of the anniversary, the campaign will build through the year with direct support for the industry through a series of activities designed to highlight the increasingly important role sandwiches play in all our lives. Indeed, the industry has come a long way since the 4th Earl of Sandwich called for his manservant to bring him some 'cuts of beef between slices of toasted bread' so that he could eat without having to get up from gambling table. Little could he have known that his call for a convenient meal was to have such a massive impact on modern day lives. Today UK consumers eat over 11 billion sandwiches every year – over three billion of which are bought ready-to-eat from retail and catering outlets. The industry is also a major employer, contributing massively to the UK economy. The commercial sandwich industry alone employs well over 300,000 people in the UK and the technical know-how built up over recent years is now exported around the world to countries such as the USA and Japan where sandwiches are also becoming a major part of everyday life. So, there is a lot to celebrate about this great British institution. And, to mark the occasion, the British Sandwich Association is embarking on a major marketing and PR campaign to support the industry. The campaign kicks off in January with the consumer launch of a special logo designed to draw attention to the Anniversary. This will feature in activities throughout the year and will be available from a number of packaging and labelling suppliers, as well as from the Association. Alongside this the Association is also launching a new consumer website - www.lovesarnies.com - which has been designed to work alongside social media sites to support the campaign as well to highlight any specific promotions being organised by retailers and caterers. From March the Association will be launching a 'Sandwich of the Month' campaign supported by a PR and social media programme designed to highlight a different sandwich each month. Recipes for the featured sandwiches will be distributed to retailers and manufacturers taking part well in advance so that they can include them in their ranges and take full advantage of the publicity behind each sandwich. The first feature sandwich will feature bacon to coincide with Bacon Connoisseurs Week's - 'Red, White & Bacon' theme. Retailers will also be able to access point-of-sale material to support the featured sandwich. Furthermore, the Association is also launching a monthly competition from February in which consumers can win some super prizes, including a holiday in Hawaii. The competition will be promoted on pack and in-store with a draw at the end of each month. There is also a facility for retailers to run their own competitions within the overall national one. In March, a new online consumer magazine is set to be launched, packed full of information about sandwiches as well as some of the activities taking place across the UK. This will be followed in May by British Sandwich Week (13th – 19th) and the Sammies, the British Sandwich Industry Awards, with further activities being planned for the summer and autumn, including a big picnic event. The campaign presents a great opportunity for everyone, from sandwich bars and caterers to retailers, to highlight sandwiches on their menu and with sandwiches remaining so popular with consumers it's an opportunity not to be missed.

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