Cheese sandwich is the king of Plymouth’s lunchtime
There’s an old joke that starts, cheese, cheese, bloody cheese… but it turns out that in a country that spends £7.5bn on sandwiches each year, the cheese sandwich is still among the top five that emerged as the most popular workday lunch in Britain.
A study commissioned by Lurpak into the lunchtime eating habits of 2,000 office workers across the nation found a third of workers in Britain tuck into the same thing for lunch each work day without fail, with the classic cheese sandwich the most popular choice.
The results showed over 73 per cent of workers in Plymouth eat the same type of lunch most days – with over 29 per cent of people eating the same lunch every single day – and have done so for over three and a half years on average. This is the equivalent of eating over 800 identical cheese sandwiches without mixing up the menu.
Perhaps that’s why one in six of workers in Plymouth have had co-workers make comments about how repetitive their lunch is or have been asked why they never mix up the routine.
The study found 12:50pm is the most common time for people in Plymouth to start their lunch, with cheese sarnies and ham sarnies the top two most common choices.
Over 60 per cent of workers in Plymouth admitted to being creatures of habit and eating the same lunch every day. Although almost 50 per cent of those in Plymouth felt fed up or bored by their lunch choices, the biggest reason to stick to the same lunch each day was ‘it’s convenient’.
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 recombine, reimagine and reinvent 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, more than half of workers in Plymouth say that lunch is usually the highlight of their working day.
The study also revealed that:
- On average, Plymouth office workers already start thinking about lunch before 11am and spend £11 per week on their lunches.
- Some traditional sandwich fillings are dying out – six in ten Brits hadn’t eaten a jam, marmalade or banana sandwich in well over a year.
- Wholegrain bread is the favourite choice for people in Plymouth making a sandwich.
- More than half of those polled in Plymouth will add crisps to their sandwich, with cheese & onion, ready salted, and salt & vinegar being the most likely flavours to be thrown in.
- Nearly a quarter of Brits polled will Instagram their culinary creations if proud of their work
Thryth Jarvis, Senior Brand Manager at Arla Foods, 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 workers in Plymouth 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 favourite 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.”
Push the boundaries and show us what you can do – share your freestyle creations @Lurpak #FreestyleFood
BRITAIN’S MOST COMMON LUNCHES
1. Cheese sandwich
2. Ham sandwich
3. Chicken sandwich
5. Other sandwich
6. Tomato soup
8. Vegetable soup
10. Microwave meal
11. Jacket potato and tuna
12. Prawn sandwich
13. Noodles/ stir-fry
14. Jacket potato and other
15. Beans on toast
18. Jacket potato and chilli
TOP NEW WAYS TO ‘GO FREESTYLE’ WITH LURPAK
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 (BLRKCT)
OVER 1,000 CHEESE SANDWICHES
52 weeks x 5 work days a week
– 21 days annual leave
– 8 Bank holidays
= 231 sandwiches a year
x 3.67 years = 847 cheese sandwiches
(from a press release)
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