With school summer holidays coming to an end parents will be thinking about what to give the kids for school lunch. But lunchboxes also find their way into offices and other places of work. The main analysts say consumers plan to continue being careful with food budgets. So packed lunch elements continue to provide retailing opportunities.
SANDWICHES are the most popular lunchtime food item at home and are included in 60% of packed lunches says Allied Bakeries quoting figures from Kantar Worldpanel. And category director Martin Garlick said with 56% of home lunches being prepared in under 10 minutes wrapped bread is a convenient aid to sandwich making.
That being said, he reports that traditional bread sales showed a 9.1% decline in the year to the end of March.
But perhaps consumers are looking for still greater convenience or variety because sales of other bread products, the lines known as “sandwich alternatives” are up by 9.2%.
Consumers are also seen as continuing to look for healthier options for lunch. “The healthier bakery sector has grown 10.6% in the last five years,” Garlick said.
“This insight led to the launch of Kingsmill Sandwich Thins, available in white, 50/50 and wholemeal varieties at 99 calories each.
“Bread remains a core staple for most households who expect a representative range of product to be available 24/7.
“Keep white bread as a main feature of your fixture, but it is important to offer healthier alternatives.”
• Are there things retailers can usefully learn from food service operations in schools and colleges?
On-the go-food packaging manufacturer Planglow says baguettes, subs, rolls and other speciality breads are favoured for school lunches and that chicken is by far the most popular filling for wraps and sandwiches.
Planglow’s account manager in Scotland, Stephen Ferguson, said: “The street food movement has had a huge impact on the wider food industry and sandwich and wraps offer an accessible way into the market. Our Gastro Baguette Bag has been the biggest selling packaging item in schools for the past two years running – and sales of the product increased 60% in schools year on year.
“The only wedge to make the top 10 for the past two years is the Gastro Deep-fill Wedge. Whilst slipping down from eighth to ninth position over the past 12 months, sales of the product have actually increased by 29%.”