Subway beats Tesco to number one spot in sandwich retail

sandwich bar franchise Subway, which now has over 1,100 locations operating in the UK, has become the leading sandwich retailer in the country according to a report published by the British Sandwich Association in May. The international quick service brand tallied up sales of £300 million, nearly twice that of the second-placed retailer Tesco.

'We are delighted to have been ranked number one by this report in the UK,' says Subway European Director Kevin Graham (pictured inset (R), with company founder Fred DeLuca). 'This is the first time the Subway chain has held this position in the UK and it further underlines the strength of the company's brand, product and franchise system. It is also testament to our entrepreneurial and outstanding franchisees. Our aim is to be the world's favourite place to eat fresh food and this is yet another major milestone for us.'

British Sandwich Association Director Jim Winship commented: 'The growth of the Subway chain has been nothing short of phenomenal. Sandwiches represent a major part of the British diet and it is clear that the Subway chain has become a national favourite with UK consumers.'

The British Sandwich Association report highlights that the sandwich market is moving away from being a predominantly lunchtime meal with customers demanding products at other times of the day. 'This is a trend we are seeing more and more, as our customers are visiting the stores at different times of the day, such as at breakfast and in the evening,' says Steve Richards, chair of Subway's UK and Ireland business development team. 'We pride ourselves on being able to offer our customers great tasting sub sandwiches, made just the way they want, fresh in front of them. It's all about great choice - at any time of the day and we have a wide range of subs from indulgent to low fat to great value, which is why consumers are flocking to us.'

The Subway network, which spans 86 countries, has its routes in a New York submarine sandwich shop opened by company founder Fred DeLuca in 1965 as a way to fund his college studies. Fred and his business partner Peter Buck opened 16 units before developing the franchise offering in 1974.

The company is now a major national brand in many markets worldwide and has overtaken McDonald's in the USA, Canada and Australia'in unit numbers.

Major markets for Subway
USA:'Over 21,500 stores

Canada: Over 2,300 stores
UK:'Over 1,100 stores

Australia: Over 1,000 stores

Germany: Over 600 stores

Mexico: Over 340 stores

Puerto Rico: Over 220 stores

News Zealand: Over 200 stores

Brazil: Over 145 stores

Japan:'Over 140 stores