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.”

Indonesia’s Consumer Boom

Nomura, a Japanese bank, reckons Indonesia is creating a middle class (defined as one with disposable household income of over $3,000 per year) helter-skelter. The country’s bourgeoisie, 1.6m in 2004, now numbers about 50m. On Nomura’s measure, that is more than India and bigger than elsewhere in the region. The number could reach almost 150m by 2014, representing one of the world’s most enticing markets. Newly affluent Indonesians are certainly spending.

Indonesia’s middle class: Missing BRIC in the wall” , The Economist, 21 Jul 2011

Costing London’s Affluent Lifestyle

The Stonehage Group, a leading multi-family office advising Ultra High Net Worth (UHNW) individuals and international families, today announced that prices of typical luxury goods and services for UHNWs based in London increased by an average of 6.0% in the 12 months to the end of April 2011, marking a significant jump in price inflation, following a 0.6% rise the previous year.

This large increase, measured by Stonehage’s Affluent Luxury Living Index (SALLI), compares to an average inflation rate of 4.5%, measured by the UK Consumer Price Index (CPI) over the same period.

Fore more details, click here.