The lunchtime roast is toast according to Premier Foods - with sandwiches now almost twice as popular for Sunday lunch.

Roast meat accounts for only one in seven meals at Sunday lunchtime, found a consumer survey, while 26.6% of people said they now opt for a sandwich.

“Sunday lunchtime has become a quick fuel stop,” said Paul Chapman of Premier Foods, which released the details.

For many families, he said, Sunday shopping, sports and children’s activities leave little time for putting together a full roast. The traditional Sunday lunch is fast becoming the contemporary Sunday evening meal and a midweek feast, according to new research published by Premier Foods.

Home chefs in the northeast still spend an average 38 minutes preparing Sunday lunch, whereas almost half of all British lunches are whipped up in less than 10 minutes, with just under 20% slapped on the table within five minutes of turning on the microwave.

“We may aspire to create lovely food, but most of us won’t invest the time to do it ourselves,” said Chapman.

The study, based on 30,000 participants, found a five million drop in servings of the traditional Sunday plateful in the year to June 2016.