Wraps and flatbreads oust sandwiches at lunch

Brits prefer wraps, flatbreads and even pizza over sandwiches for lunch, new research from Spitalfields Market has revealed.

The survey of 1,133 adults saw sandwiches place ninth on a list of consumers’ favourite lunchtime options, with only 15% of respondents saying they ate them on a regular basis.

Instead, salads came out on top, with 42% frequently tucking into them at lunchtime, followed by wraps second (37%) and flatbreads third (36%).

“Sandwiches have been a staple in British diets for centuries, but the 21st century has seen people opting for arguably healthier options and wider varieties of lunchtime meals,” said Matt O’Halloran, PR & marketing director for East London’s Spitalfields Market.

Health as well as an increase in vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free diets have contributed to the shift in eating habits which also vary by age group. The research highlights that millennials and Gen Zs are far more likely to choose ‘artisanal’ lunches over sandwiches compared to middle-aged respondents.

When consumers do opt for sandwiches, classics such as ham & cheese barely get a look in any more.

Notably, avocado came out on top as the most popular sandwich filler with one in three listing it as their favourite filling, followed by pulled pork at 32% and smoked salmon at 28%. Ham & cheese secured just 11% of the vote, followed by egg mayo with 9%.

“Street food is another trend that we feel is contributing to this shift in eating habits. Spitalfields Market has been tracking increased footfall to its food stalls between 12-3pm over the last year, as local residents and professionals are becoming more adventurous in their food choices,” added O’Halloran.

For more information on trends in and affecting the sandwich market, British Baker subscribers can read the latest feature here.

Here’s the top 10 lunchtime options, as found by Spitalfields Market:

  • Salads (42%)
  • Wraps (37%)
  • Flatbreads (36%)
  • Sushi (31%)
  • Burgers (25%)
  • Soups (24%)
  • Pastas (24%)
  • Pizzas (23%)
  • Sandwiches (15%)
  • Leftovers (11%)

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