Exclusive: Sandwich Breads For The Win

While most consumers eat three meals a day with a few snacks throughout, the gap between eating three meals per day and replacing meals with snacks is narrowing. In this context, the sandwich bread business has enormous potential to grow through innovation and convenience, in order to engage with existing and new potential users.

We are increasingly seeing the snackification of breakfast and lunch as consumers lead busier lives and their diets need to keep up. New formats need to target on-the-go consumers and bakery brands are looking to gain a share of these new formats by making their products more portable and snackable.

Experts from equipment manufacturers AMF and Rademaker, as well as representatives from established bakery businesses Bantam Bagels and Duck Island Bread Company helped us shed light on consumer preferences and market trends when it comes to sandwich breads.

“It’s all about quality and taste. Healthy snacks play a role as well. This means that the whole production line must be capable of making such products. Not everybody realizes the importance of having a well-balanced production line in order to reach the highest quality for the best price. Snacking with bread products often means adjusting portion size and product form, which is all about flexibility in the makeup and packaging segments of the bakery. And innovation in this space is critical”, explained Hans Herman Doude, Vice President of Sales for AMF EMEA.

Research shows that two-thirds of restaurant morning meals are eaten off-premise. As a result, it’s not surprising that specialty bakeries are creating new forms of grab-and-go sandwich carriers or various bakery based snacks, in an attempt to upscale breakfast alternatives to meet the demands of this evolving market.

“Breakfast in general is becoming a meal consumed more often than not on-the-go, or in a far more “snacking” fashion than historically. We feel that our items meet the customer where they are, providing authentic, delicious, portable convenience for not only breakfast, but all day parts. We allow people access to something iconic, something delicious, something that feels like a Saturday morning, and allow them to take it as a snack on-the-go”, representatives of New York’s iconic Bantam Bagels commented.

“Product wise there has been, and still is, a clear trend for artisan style and healthy breads. The trend is ‘back to the basics’: doughs with longer (pre)fermentation times and healthy ingredients. Because of this market demand, we have adjusted some of our sheeting modules to make sure that we can handle these more difficult dough types with minimal stress into the dough and not damaging the gluten and dough structure”, said Henri in ’t Veld, Head of Product Management, Rademaker.

“Regarding capacities, we slowly see more bakeries that are demanding capacities in the range of 500 to 2.000 kg dough per hour. We have downscaled various modules to live up to the needs for these types of smaller businesses. Besides resulting in a lower capacity, also the footprint and cost price of the total production line are significantly reduced compared to our fully industrial Bread line”, he added.

While in general snacking is something that health conscious individuals have tended to restrain from, such is not the case anymore. “What we have found is that even those that are focused on health and fitness will indulge on high quality baked goods. We don’t specifically focus on snacking as as a driving force of sales. What we do is offer quality products that are satisfying. Items such as traditional Bavarian style soft pretzels fit such a category. […] Our most popular breads are sourdough, olive bread, ciabatta, rye bread and baguettes. And they are all used by our customers for sandwiches. ” says Robert Biancavilla Founder/Head Baker at Duck Island Bread Company.

You can read the full story in European Baker & Biscuit magazine’s January/February print edition.

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