Morrisons bids to become UK sandwich king

By Michael Stones contact

- Last updated on GMT

Morrisons is bidding to become Britain's sandwich king
Morrisons is bidding to become Britain's sandwich king

Related tags: Sliced bread

Morrisons has opened a new front in the supermarket price war with a pledge to make its own sandwiches in store, battling the upper crust chains in a bid to claim a bigger slice of the UK market worth £2.8bn.

Promising an end of “soggy supermarket sandwiches”​ Morrisons is training its own 1,000 strong, self billed “sarnie army”​ to make and sell a range of fresh sandwiches in store, with a promise that they will always be made on the same day.

The retailer said the move will make it “the first of the big four supermarkets to go head-to-head with high street ‘designer’ sandwich chains”.

‘Pricier high street sandwich chains’

The new offering will be similar to what it described as the “pricier high street sandwich chains”. ​The sandwiches will be made from scratch by staff in store each day, using fresh ingredients picked from its Market Street area - rather than always being “bought pre-made from a factory”,​ it said.

Morrisons fresh provisions director Evonne Hannar said its consumer research underpinned the plan.  “We’ve been listening to customers’ and found many wanted their sandwiches to taste like they’ve just been made,”​ said Hannar. “Our team can make a fresh sandwich just as well as the high street chains.”

‘Soggy sandwich syndrome”

The retailer’s research revealed that “limp and soggy sandwich syndrome”​ in supermarkets was  turning many people off buying pre-packed sandwiches. “Recent industry figures have shown big bread brands have lost £120M a year as consumers shift away from sliced bread,”​ said the firm.

Nearly two-thirds (62%) of consumers polled in a survey last month by Opinium said they would eat more sandwiches if they were made freshly.

Listing the reasons to reject the humble sarnie, 21% of people admitted to being put off by soggy bread, 30% due to limp salad and 15% because of unsatisfying fillings. 

Meanwhile, Morrisons has pledged to donate all its unwanted food​ to charity by early next year.

Top 10 reasons why Brits shun pre-made sandwiches

  1. Limp lettuce and other salad components: 30%
  2. They’re not fresh: 30%
  3. They’re tasteless / lack of flavour: 26%
  4. They’re dried out/ have hardened bread: 22%
  5. I prefer to buy other sandwiches: 21%
  6. Soggy bread: 21%
  7. They’re too expensive: 20%
  8. I don’t like the fillings: 15%
  9. There’s not enough/too much seasoning: 13%
  10. There’s not enough/too much sauce, such as mayonnaise: 12%

Opinium research in October 2015

Most popular sandwich fillings

• Chicken (24%) 

• Fish (18%) (mostly tuna and prawns)

• Cheese (15%)

• Ham (12%)

• Bacon (10%)

• Egg (7%)

•Sausage (3%)

Source The British Sandwich Association

Related topics: Bakery, Fruit, vegetable, nut ingredients

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