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Costa Coffee and M&S Food celebrate British Sandwich Week

Tuesday 24th May 2022

24/05/22

  •  New research* finds a third of Brits (33%) feel they don’t take long enough lunch breaks, with two in five (41%) eating lunch alone
  • Newcastle, Manchester and Glasgow take the shortest lunch breaks** and to encourage the nation to reclaim their lunch break this British Sandwich Week, Costa Coffee and M&S Food have created a series of unique lunchtime benches for these cities, painted by local artists

Costa Coffee, the Nation’s Favourite Coffee Shop***, is on a mission to brighten lunchtimes this British Sandwich Week (22-28 May), as new research reveals two years of mainly working from home has negatively affected the nation’s lunch habits, with a third of Brits (33%) feeling they don’t take long enough for lunch each day.

Research by Costa Coffee has discovered that of those who don’t take long enough, most cite not having enough time (30%), being too busy in life (29%) with tasks such as household chores, while one in five (20%) blame the pressures of work for missing lunch. More than two in five (41%) also eat lunch alone.

However, three quarters of Brits (72%) think their lunchtime could be improved, with getting outside and having a change of scenery being the number one solution (29%), followed by wanting more time to relax (27%) and eating something convenient and tasty (22%).

To help give the nation its lunchtime back and to celebrate Costa Coffee now serving breakfast, lunch, snacks and treats from M&S Food, the two much-loved British brands have created the ultimate lunchtime experience – a specially designed series of benches aimed to get people outside and make the most of their lunch break.

Located in cities found to take the shortest lunch breaks, the benches will be available to use between 22-28 May in Newcastle, where on average locals take just a 22-minute break, Manchester, with locals taking 23 minutes 48 seconds lunch break and Glasgow, with locals taking 24 minutes 18 seconds.

The benches are themed around findings from this new research which shows the top three locations Brits dream about enjoying lunch in when not at home, with scenic nature spots (15%), beaches (10%) and the local park (9%).

Giving users the ultimate lunchtime experience, the benches come complete with ambient sounds such as the sound of beach waves, refreshing scents such as pine trees and everything you need to enjoy a quality lunch break, including fold-out tables, a condiment bar and phone chargers.

Brought to life by local artists Hazel Oakes (Newcastle), Jenny Leonard (Manchester) and Lewi Quinn (Glasgow), each bench has been creatively designed and inspired by local culture and skylines and is a colourful celebration of what they love about each of their cities.

Reflecting on the importance of slowing down and reclaiming lunch breaks, Naomi Matthews, Food and Beverage Commercial Director UK & Ireland at Costa Coffee, said: “Taking a lunch break is so important to our wellbeing and with so many people now experiencing shorter lunchtimes or not taking a lunch break at all, we hope our unique benches give people an opportunity to unwind and recharge.” 

Costa Coffee’s research also found sandwiches topped the list of the nation’s favourite lunch options, voted for by over a third of the nation (36%), followed by Ploughman’s lunch (14%) and jacket potato (8%). According to the data, the nation is so keen on sandwiches, the average Brit tends to have three sandwiches a week for lunch. This equates to 156 a year, which collectively amounts to over 33m sandwiches eaten every week in the UK and over 67m slices of bread used.****

The coffee shop found Brits’ favourite sandwich filling is Ploughman’s Cheddar Cheese (12%), followed by Ham and Cheese (7%) and Roast Chicken and Stuffing (7%). In the contest of condiments, mayonnaise beats ketchup as the favoured lunchtime sauce (31% vs. 19%).