Beating Recession with a Sandwich Obsession

  • 69 per cent of Brits now make a packed lunch

  • 45 per cent more Brits make packed lunch than pre-recession

Saving money is a top priority for Brits with 45% stating saving money as the reason to make a packed lunch. The average consumer saves £29 a month making their own packed lunch – the equivalent of £13billion a year.

It’s not just our bank balance that has benefited from home-made lunches with a new culinary trend of pimping up the British sandwich to make lunchtime a more glamorous affair heralds a new lunchtime meal - ‘the glamwich’. Over two thirds (69%) of Brits now make a packed lunch and almost half (47%) change sandwich ingredients to make a packed lunch more exciting.

The research published today of more than 2,000 Brits by Pilgrims Choice the number two cheddar brand* and Censuswide, highlights over 60 per cent of the population now regularly choose to make their own lunches. Out of these lunch makers nearly half (48%) choose to make a sandwich, which if made on a daily basis would be enough sandwiches to fill 48 double decker buses per day.

With one in five consumers adding fancy fillings to make their lunch more exciting and because it looks better than shop bought products, there are endless examples of aesthetics taking lunch making to an alluring new level:
• One third (32%) of all consumers use high-quality cheese to add glamour to a sandwich
• A fifth (21%) buy more interesting bread to make their packed lunch a more exciting occassion
• One in ten sandwich makers add olives or pesto (10%)
• Nearly a fifth (18%) add sweet chilli sauce
• 12 per cent try to replicate sandwiches they have seen or bought in shops

The increase in sandwich making has nutritional benefits as Dr Carina Norris a nutrition expert says: “Sandwiches shouldn’t be boring and making your own means you choose exactly what goes into them, so you can control the fat and salt content, maximise the amount of nutritious salad and help achieve your daily nutrient targets.”

”Try to include a variety of different vegetables in your sandwiches – different veg contain different vitamins and other healthy plant compounds, so eating a variety is a great way to help ensure you get all the nutrients you need. Salad leaves, baby spinach, cress, watercress, tomato, cucumber, grated carrot, thinly sliced radish, beetroot, finely chopped celery and peppers are just a few ideas. Thin slices of apple work well too- they’re especially good with cheese.”

For further ideas to put the rock back into your lunch roll Pilgrims Choice has demonstrated its ‘expertises in cheeses’ and launched a free smartphone app ‘Good Sandwich Pilgrim’ with plenty of categories and over 100 sandwiches to inspire your sandwich making: Glamwich, Speedy, Cheap Eats, Healthy, Vegetarian, Sweet Tooth and Kids Lunchbox.

Alastair Jackson, Marketing Director at Pilgrims Choice, said: “You only need to look at popular television shows such as MasterChef, Come Dine With Me and Great British Bake Off to see that there is a huge consumer appetite for all things foodie and why should this stop when eating ‘al desko’. This research illustrates that as we celebrate the 250th year of the sandwich, consumers are taking sandwich making to a new level. There is now a renewed interest in not only the content but also a need to make presentation ever more appealing.

For more ideas on how you can make your food more artistic visit us at our own sandwich art exhibition at Bath & West, May 30th – June 2nd.”

Pilgrims Choice prides itself on being the choosiest cheese company, going to great lengths to find and hand select the best cheese for your enjoyment. To explore our full range of cheeses on and see our latest recipes, visit

Research was carried out by CensusWide among a representative of 2,010 UK consumers in April 2012. The results can be broken down by gender, age group and region if required.

*Number two cheese brand according to Neilson, March 2012

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