Why We Love Pre-Packaged Sandwiches

Why we Love Pre-Packaged Sandwiches

What are the staple foods of your average Brit’s diet? Crisps? Soups? Salads? Fruit? Or how about a bloomin’ good sandwich? At Northern Bites, we take great pride in supplying a range of healthy and proper tasty packaged sandwiches to customers throughout the UK: from schools and hospitals to service stations and convenience stores and just about every type business in-between.

But what is it about the humble pre packed sandwich that keeps us coming back for more? Where did those first packed sarnies originate? And why are packaged sandwiches the indisputable king of cold, fresh, convenience food?

The history of pre-packaged sandwiches

So before pre-packaged sandwiches, there were, unsurprisingly, non-pre-packaged sandwiches. They were the crafty lunch creation of John Montagu, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, which is where the sandwich takes its name.

The Earl of Sandwich was quite the avid gambler and liked the convenience of being served an easy-to-eat bite at lunch, which allowed him to carry on playing cribbage without getting his mitts mucky. The idea soon caught on among the posh folk of London he kept company with, who declared the sandwich was – quite frankly – the best thing ever. Common folk would soon hear about it and join the sandwich trend, and like John, they valued the food for its versatility and convenience. And so, the sandwich was born.

It wasn’t all John’s idea, however. The Earl liked to go to the Mediterranean for his holidays, and would regularly order mezze platters, where ham, tomato, cheeses and a range of other assorted fresh foods were traditionally eaten by ‘sandwiching’ them between the slices of bread that were served with. In fact, the concept was nothing new at all: eating a range of foods tucked between two slices of bread, or on a slice of bread, had been a fixture in many cultures’ cuisines, for hundreds and hundreds of years.

So when did the first packaged sandwich come along?

The first pre-packaged sandwich range was actually the brainchild of Marks and Spencer’s in 1980, which at the time, was the biggest department store in the land, and known for its fancy foods.

The 1980s was a time of CDs, TV remotes and the personal computer. In short, convenience. And so the team from the M&S supermarket section saw the potential demand for a food-to-go range, particularly quality sandwiches.

The first sandwich batch

Their first packaged sandwiches range wasn’t particularly ground-breaking in terms of bread or fillings. The menu included egg and cress, salmon and cucumber, ham, and prawn mayonnaise. They were neatly contained in plastic packaging and kept cold and fresh in open refrigerators, ready for power-suited customers to grab on their lunch break. And best of all? The range started at just 43p per sandwich.

The first sandwiches were made in a stockroom that was turned into a makeshift sandwich production and packaging station, complete with a sandwich butter machine and an area to pack them. The innovative pre packed sandwich range became an overnight sensation, and customers couldn’t get enough of the flavours. And the M&S sandwich range didn’t take much promoting either. Within just a few weeks, the ‘test run’ would advance from 5 stores to 25, and then 105. The sandwich and packaging process soon became industrialised, and other supermarkets jumped on the trend like a pack. The rest is history.

These days, it’s hard to imagine a world without pre-packaged sandwiches or the other quick lunch food options that quickly followed. Along with pre packed sandwiches, today you’ll find a range of paninis, wraps, baguettes and salads lining the shelves of many a shop, petrol station and supermarket, all ready for customers seeking a quick bite.

Why pre-packaged sandwiches are still the king of convenience food

Let’s make one thing clear: sandwiches are definitely king. They’re a solid go-to whether you want to grab a bite at lunch or you’re craving a late-night snack. And there are plenty of reasons why pre-packaged sandwiches are the food of choice for the majority of your customers.

  • Sandwich fillings and big flavours for all: Whether you’re into healthy vegan salads or something spicy and meaty, there’s a sandwich filling or pack especially for you. And at Northern Bites, our range has fresh, innovative sandwich flavours to suit every customer’s palate.
  • The kind of lunch food that keeps you going: Salads, soups or a coffee might keep you going for an hour or two. But a pack of sandwiches sustains you for much longer (and without the heart palpitations too much coffee will give you).
  • Convenient food, convenient packaging: Don’t want to get your hands messy like Montagu? Pre-packed sandwiches are the business. You can read a book, text on your phone, or hold a mug of tea in your other hand while eating a sandwich. What’s more, sandwich packaging means you can eat half a sandwich now, then toss it back into your bag and have the rest later when you’re peckish.
  • Appropriate food for day or night: Eating lunch? Sandwiches. Coming in from the pub? Sandwiches. Coming home from the gym? Grab a sandwich. Whatever the time of day, whatever the moment, it never feels daft to eat a sandwich. Even when it probably should feel daft to eat a sandwich.
  • Traditional, tried and true: Paninis, wraps, rolls and toasties are all gaining in popularity. But there’s something reassuringly familiar about an old school sandwich packed right to the edges with loads of tasty filling with salads like chicken tikka or Piri Piri chicken.

So are pre-packaged sandwiches healthy lunch food?

We’re watching what we put into our bodies more than ever before, especially when it comes to salt and fat content. But are pre-packaged sandwiches healthy? They are if you buy your sandwich range from Northern Bites.

Unlike the range of mass-produced sandwiches in non-sustainable packaging that other companies supply, at Northern Bites, we take great pride in making our entire sandwich range in-house, and in small batches too to guarantee quality in every pack. What’s more, we use the best and freshest ingredients available, tastiest flavours, and really keep tabs on things like salt and fat content.

Are Northern Bites packed sandwiches right for your business or company?

Need some fresh, top-notch halal sandwiches for your shop, supermarket, business or event? Or how about subs, paninis or wraps? Want sustainable packaging too? Look no further.

Our food-to-go isn’t your run-of-the-mill range with poor packaging! We carry a sandwich pack for every taste and dietary requirement, whether your customers are all-out vegans or dedicated carnivores. And if you like to offer gluten-free options, low fat,  we can also provide gluten-free bread on request. What’s more, our quality range of sandwiches is proper tasty too.

So what’s on the menu?

The meaty ones: All our meat for our packed sandwiches is strictly halal, and we’re proud of that. Take your pick from our tangy Chicken Tikka sandwich, our spicy Piri Piri Chicken sandwich, or our tempting Tuna & Sweetcorn sandwich.

The vegan ones: We’ve got your vegan customer covered too. Our vegan options include our crispy BLT Sandwich, our suspiciously good vegan No Salt Beef sandwich, and our filling All Day Breakfast sandwich. If your vegan customer is more a panini fan, we also offer a Ham and Cheese panini. How’s that for choice?

The veggie ones: It’s not just our vegan sandwiches that’ll suit your veggie customers. We’ve got a range of wraps to boot, including our Mexican Bean & Sweet Potato Wraps, our Indian-style Street Food wraps, and the not-to-be missed Vegetable Pakoras with homemade chutney.

So if you want to join become a Northern Bites sandwich stockist and provide your customers with high-quality sandwiches, wraps, paninis, or subs, made with the best ingredients and packed full of taste, look no further..because no one loves sandwiches more than we do. Call us today.