More than four in 10 UK adults skip lunch at least once a week, a survey by Canadean Custom Solutions (CCS) has shown.

According to the survey, 25- to 34-year-olds are least likely to eat lunch on a daily basis. Just 49% said they eat an afternoon meal seven days a week. When asked why, 46% answered: “I don’t always feel hungry at lunchtime.” Over a quarter (26%) said: “I don’t have time to eat lunch every day”.

A lack of hunger was attributed to the rise in snacking, with 24% of British adults saying that they prefer to snack throughout the day rather than eat lunch.

A lack of time is also impacting where consumers eat lunch, and what they choose to eat. Of those questioned, 46% said they eat lunch on-the-go at least once a week. When selecting what to eat, convenience (38%) was preferred over health (33%), and “what is available at-home” (53%) over “what is the tastiest” (48%).

Florin Ivan, research manager at CCS, said: “Time scarcity is impacting on lunchtime occasions, with people either prone to skipping lunch or trying to facilitate their busy lifestyles by eating while doing other activities. 

“Convenience is king at lunchtime, with consumers willing to compromise on taste and health in favour of food that is quick to prepare and readily available.”

He added that “while consumers may feel they are managing their busy lifestyles by adopting such lunchtime regimes, it could have long-term implications on their health”.