Press Release   •   Feb 05, 2010 15:44 GMT

For centuries the homemade sandwich has reigned supreme as the perfect easy to make snack to keep us going between main meals.

But now the glorious culinary creation that Britain gave to world cuisine 250 years ago is falling out of favour to sandwich alternatives from around the world.

Instead of a making a good old fashioned sarnie either with bread, a roll or a bap increasing numbers of us are plumping for croissants, wraps, bagels or using even more exotic Middle Eastern or Indian breads such as naans and chapattis.

In the last year volume sales of bread, traditional rolls and baps across all retailers have fallen by 1.2 per cent (TNS data Dec 2009) while:
• Croissants (French) – have soared by 33 per cent
• Chapattis and tortillas (Indian and Mexican) – grew by 18 per cent
• Naan bread (Indian) – rose by 13 per cent
• Bagels (New York Jewish) – increased by 11 per cent

Said Tesco bakery spokesman Andy Simpson: “There are so many bread varieties from all around the world now available in the UK and these are drawing sales from traditional loaves, rolls and baps which have reigned supreme in bakeries for hundreds of years.

“While croissants have been commonplace across the UK since the 80s, it’s naan bread, chapattis, bagels and more recently tortillas that have now established themselves as popular snack alternatives to the traditional sandwich.
“The main reason for this is that the UK has become more multicultural and is now home to many different races and nationalities who have helped popularise different cuisines here.

“But the trend is also down to the sheer diversity of bread now available to shoppers such as varieties from Italy, Ireland, Germany, France, and the Middle East as well as those from France, India, Mexico, and New York – all of which are now commonly found on supermarket shelves.”

The new sales data is further proof of how multicultural Britain is moving further away from its hackneyed continental image of a nation that lives on fried breakfasts, and a meat and two veg diet.

For many Brits having a croissant or bagel with their morning coffee has now become a way of life while filled tortilla wraps are now hugely popular as lunchtime snacks.

And naans and chapattis have become hugely popular since the curry replaced fish and chips as the nation’s favourite dish.

For more information please contact Mike Baess on 01992 646079
or Tesco Press Office on 01992 644645.

Note to editors:
Some important dates in the history of the sandwich.

1762 – The sandwich was officially created and given its name in London by John Montague, the Fourth Earl of Sandwich.
The Earl asked for bread, cheese and meat to be brought to his table in a gambling club so he could continue playing cards without leaving the premises.

1827 – The snack makes it to America after English cook Elisabeth Leslie writes a book over there including a recipe for ham sandwiches as a main dish.

1900 – Sliced bread is created by commercial bakeries and sandwiches began to be known across the world.