Tesco said it was a case of “move over sarnies” as it trebled its ready-to-eat salad range to nearly 50 lines. 

The supermarket giant said exotic salads were increasing their share of the lunch time snack market as office workers and other time-pressed consumers favoured them, while sandwiches were losing out. It attributed the change, in part, to the search for healthier options.

A statement said: “Increasing numbers of shoppers across the UK are now choosing a salad over a sarnie, wrap or roll and it’s the healthier end of the salad market that is growing the fastest.

"The growing trend has prompted Tesco to completely overhaul and more than treble its ‘on the go’ salad range to nearly 50 lines.”

Current IRI data shows that in the last 52 weeks demand for leafy salads grew by 13% and demand for lighter, healthy salads was up by 19%. The growth of light salads was nearly four times the rate of that of sandwiches.

Salad popularity sustained through winter

Helen Dwyer, Tesco salad buyer, said: “The quality and range of ready-to-eat salads has improved so much in recent years that they are attracting shoppers who might otherwise have bought a sandwich, roll or wrap.

“Traditionally, sales of prepared salads would rise during the summer months and drop again during the winter. Now, because of the exciting number of new gourmet salads available that demand is not only sustained throughout the year but is bringing in plenty of new customers who might otherwise have chosen a sandwich as a lunchtime snack.”

Salads have been introduced in Tesco’s Finest and Healthy Living ranges with examples including a Finest crayfish and mango and a coconut Asian chicken salad.