Income Effects and Sandwiches

The Times,”The evolution of lunch for a busy office worker“, 28 July 2011 suggests that Pret a Manger is doing better than expected during the recession.

Jim Winship, director at the British Sandwich Association, reckons the market has grown by at least 2 per cent annually, including during the financial crisis. So-called “premium” sandwich makers such as Pret have benefited as diners have shunned eating out but have still sought relatively posh nosh.

The association reckons that the sandwich market, worth about £1 billion in 1990, is now worth £6.25 billion. According to recent figures from Kantar, Pret a Manger enjoyed an 18 per cent growth in sandwich sales during the 12 months to March 20. That compares with Subway at 5.3 per cent, Tesco at 3.9 per cent and flat sandwich sales at Greggs.

“There has been a lot of growth in the premium sector,” Mr Winship said. “Some retailers were wrong-footed initially.

“Their reaction was that everyone would want cheap sandwiches, but that has not turned out to be true.”