Texting used to measure food 'on-the-go' market

By Ahmed ElAmin

- Last updated on GMT

If alive even the Earl of Sandwich would have been impressed that
his namesake food has now become a £ 2.8bn (€ 4.1bn) market in the

The research, by TNS Worldpanel, uses a more accurate measuring system to measure the British on-the-go sandwich market. It is the first to put a true value on the British sandwich market, looking at the price of each sandwich bought and consumed outside the home, as well as the number bought, TNS claims.

Eating on-the-go and outside of the three traditional daily meal occasions is on the rise and probably will continue as people's lives are increasingly busy.

On the go refers to sandwiches bought and consumed outside the home. This does not include sandwiches brought into the home.

In the last year, 1.69 billion sandwiches were bought on the go at an average price of £ 1.66. Previous market measures were based on an estimated average price for a sandwich.

The market measurement is generated through the market researcher's new service tracking the snack and impulse food market. The service uses text messaging research combined with traditional techniques to gain a measure of the snacking market.

By asking participants to text the bar codes of their purchases, TNS can track their snacking purchases in real-time.

The snack market includes soft drinks, sandwiches and savouries, confectionery, nuts and crisps.

Tim Nancholas, a director at TNS, said the company is monitoring consumer snack spending across a wide range of outlets from grocery, bakeries and garages to vending machines and canteens.

The out of home snacking market is notoriously difficult to measure accurately, as people tend to buy on impulse and can forget the details of their purchases,"​ he stated. "The innovative text message reporting measure has provided us with a significantly more accurate view of this market and enabled us to show far more precise sandwich sales than previously achieved by the industry."

The findings are based on data collected during the 52 weeks to 26 March 2006. TNS monitors the out-of-home snacking spending of 5,000 individuals via text message and other research methodologies. All data is based on the number of and value of items being bought by these consumers.

The sandwich is named after John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich, who lived from 1718 to 1792.

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