The pre-packed sandwich market has grown by 3.6% in the last year to more than £6bn, with volume sales up 4%.

But there are fears that cheaper, recession-inspired ranges could now stunt the growth of the industry.

The British Sandwich Association warned that retailers and “particularly some multiples” had contributed to “product blandness” and were “a direct cause of some down-trading”.

FSA pressure on reducing salt and fat content and reduced NPD was also highlighted as a concern.

“The industry needs to take care that it does not cause consumer perceptions of the quality and value for money becoming undermined,” the BSA warned.

Persuading consumers to switch away from making sandwiches at home would involve a “concerted effort” by the industry.

Despite food cost inflation of 10% and general inflation of 4%, retailers are charging little more for sandwiches than they were in 2007, the BSA claimed.

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