Society Magazine

Britain’s Most Common Lunches

Posted on the 15 April 2015 by 72point @72hub

The humble cheese sandwich is the most popular workday lunch in Britain, new research reveals.

A study into the lunchtime eating habits of 2,000 office workers found three in ten tuck into EXACTLY the same thing for lunch each work day.

The results showed 32 per cent eat an identical lunch every day and have done so for over four and a half years on average.

This is the equivalent of eating over 1,000 identical cheese sandwiches without mixing up the menu.

Perhaps that’s why a quarter of workers have had colleagues make comments about how repetitive their lunch is or have been asked why they never mix up the routine.

The study, which was commissioned by Lurpak, found 12.30pm is the most common time for people to start their lunch break, with ham sandwiches, chicken sandwiches and salad among the top five most common choices.

More than six in ten Brits say they are creatures of habit and rarely mix up their lunchtime menus.

Although half of those polled felt fed up or bored by their lunch choices, the biggest reasons to stick to the same lunch each day were ‘it’s convenient’ and ‘it’s my routine’.

Food psychologist, Greg Tucker, who worked with Lurpak to launch its new ‘go freestyle’ campaign, said: “This research demonstrates that the repetition of eating the same food every day can provide reassurance and stability. However we all have an innate desire for exploration and would benefit from shaking things up.

“New tastes and experiences can excite and motivate us, especially when we have a far greater selection of foods to experiment with than we’ve ever had before. After all, classic sandwich fillings like cheese, ham and chicken can now be enjoyed in so many different ways.

“It can be a positive move to re-combine, re-imagine and re-invent our meals.

“It isn’t always necessary to introduce new foods – you can go freestyle by using a new combination of well-known ingredients to refresh and reinvigorate your palate.”

But despite the humdrum fare, four in ten Brits say that lunch is usually the highlight of their working day.

And it can dominate our minds, thoughts first turn to thinking about lunchtime by
around 10am and spends #13 per week on their lunch on average, results showed.

But while the trade in cheese sandwiches may be booming some traditional sandwiches of yesteryear are dying out- six in ten Brits haven’t eaten a jam, marmalade or banana sandwich in well over a year.

Importantly in the battle of the breads the tide is also changing – brown bread was the more preferable over white for Brits whipping up a sandwich, results showed.

And it’s not all rigid in the sandwich-eating stakes when it comes to filling either – more than half of those polled will add crisps to their sandwich occasionally, with cheese and onion the most commonly thrown in.

While nearly a quarter of those polled will Instagram their culinary creations if proud of their work.

Thryth Jarvis, Senior Brand Manager at Arla Foods which makes Lurpak, said: “Lunchtime should be something we look forward to, yet this research shows that the traditional lunch hour may be a thing of the past with Brits taking just 35 minutes on average for their break.

“So many of us are in a rut and don’t have the energy, time or confidence to try something new. But re-evaluating those lunchtime choices and being more adventurous needn’t be hard work or time consuming.

“That’s why we’re encouraging food lovers to ‘go freestyle’ and have some fun with their favorite foods! Try a pulled chicken waffle burger or peach and ricotta on raisin bread. No recipe, no plan, no carefully measured ingredients. That’s freestyle.”


1. Cheese sandwich
2. Ham sandwich
3. Chicken sandwich
4. Salad
5. Other sandwich
6. Tomato soup
7. Pasta
8. Vegetable soup
9. Wrap
10. Microwave meal
11. Jacket potato and tuna
12. Prawn sandwich
13. Noodles/ stir-fry
14. Jacket potato and other
15. Beans on toast
16. Curry
17. Sushi
18. Jacket potato and chilli


1. Feta with avocado and roasted red pepper
2. Smoked ham and egg, with capers, gherkins and mustard mayo
3. Chicken and mango with mint raita
4. Fig, manchego and honey crostini
5. Peach and ricotta on raisin bread
6. Middle Eastern feta, beetroot and pomegranate
7. Pulled chicken waffle burger
8. Prawns with broad beans and mint on Rye
9. Bacon, Ricotta, Kale, Chilli, Lemon and Tomato on sourdough (BLKCT)


52 weeks x 5 work days a week
- 21 days annual leave
- 8 Bank holidays
= 231 cheese sandwiches a year
x 4.68 years = 1081 cheese sandwiches


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