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Trends > Convenience

Americans chomp through the English sandwich

By Kacey Culliney , 08-Nov-2012
Last updated on 08-Nov-2012 at 16:24 GMT2012-11-08T16:24:50Z

The BLT - a sandwich classic
The BLT - a sandwich classic

The English-born sandwich is a stern favorite with American consumers; consumed by a vast majority at least once a week, the Grains Food Foundation says.

Formed in England 1762 by the 4th Earl of Sandwich, the sandwich is now a clear favorite in the US with more than one billion consumed each year, it said.

In an online consumer survey conducted at the end of October, the Grains Food Foundation found that more than one-third of American adults eat sandwiches up to six times a week, and more than 60% at least once a week.

Convenience and health motivations

Findings of the 2,124-strong survey showed that 77% of consumers say convenience is a top reason for eating sandwiches.

An even larger number of consumers (83%) cite nutrition as prompting consumption.

The survey showed awareness among consumers of the health benefits associated with sandwich breads, including grain content, B vitamins, folic acid and fiber.

“Bread and grains provide many of the essential nutrients our bodies need to stay healthy and help fight diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, some cancers and birth defects,” said Christine Cochran, executive director of the Grains Food Foundation.

Bryan Voltaggio, celebrity chef and owner of Lunchbox – a dedicated sandwich restaurant – said the food is highly versatile.

“Sandwiches can be dressed up or served casual, taste great, and more importantly, they’re also one of the healthiest, most convenient and affordable foods available,” Voltaggio said.

Bread favorites

In the UK, sliced white bread continues to be the nation’s favorite and accounts for 71% of consumption, according to the Federation of Bakers. However, Nielsen data from 2010 suggests that in the US wheat bread is the favorite.

The Grains Food Foundation is a joint venture formed from members of the baking, milling and allied industries that is dedicated to advancing public understanding on the beneficial role of grain-based foods.

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