The UK spends £7.5bn on sandwiches every year, and the average Briton spends £13 on lunches per week, according to a survey of 2,000 office workers across the UK by Lurpak.
What’s more, the survey found that three in 10 Britons have eaten a plain cheese sandwich for lunch every day for an average of four and a half years, making it the nation’s most popular lunch. Here are the top 10 lunches in order according to the survey:
- Cheese sandwich
- Ham sandwich
- Chicken sandwich
- Other sandwich
- Tomato soup
- Vegetable wrap
- Microwave meal
The Top Sandwiches
A 2013 survey of 3,500 people by the British Sandwich Association found that the following were the top three sandwiches:
In 2014, the BSA repeated its survey and the results were different:
- Chicken and bacon
- Prawn mayonnaise
- Chicken salad
- Egg and cress
- Chicken and stuffing
- Southern fried chicken
- Tuna and sweetcorn
What about the most popular ingredients by volume? The 2014 survey by the BSA also found that the sandwich market consumes:
- 43,000 tonnes chicken/year
- 16,000 tonnes cheese/year
- 15,000 tonnes ham/year
- 14,000 tonnes egg/year
- 7,000 tonnes bacon/year
- 6,250 tonnes prawns/year
- 6,250 tonnes tuna/year
- 3,000 tonnes salmon/year
Regions have their own favourites. The most extreme example is Devon and Cornwall, where one in four sandwiches sold is prawn mayonnaise. In most regions, the favourite accounts for only 5–7% of total sales! Other regional favourites:
- Chicken salad in Newcastle and the north-east
- Southern fried chicken in Lancashire and the north-west
- Smoked salmon and cream cheese in the south of England
How Much Do We Spend?
Research by vouchercloud.com found that the average Briton who buys lunch spends £1,840 a year over 46 work weeks, while the average Briton who brings lunch to work spends just £552 a year.
One fifth of us choose to buy a sandwich for lunch instead of preparing it at home. The reasons given were tiredness, not enough time to make lunch and the wider range of options available from shops than from home.
A survey of London office workers also found that 69 per cent of office workers eat lunch at their desk because their workload is too intense.
Other Interesting Findings
- Chicken sandwiches dominate the sandwich market, accounting for 31% of sandwiches sold.
- 57% of sandwiches are sliced bread, and brown bread is more popular than white bread.
- Over half of Britons eat crisps with their lunch.