New survey from plant-based food brand Squeaky Bean reveals the nation’s lunchtime habits.
According to the survey, 25% of the nation’s working adults want to eat more vegan or vegetarian food during their lunch break. The survey of 2,000 employed UK adults, commissioned by Squeaky Bean, discovered that 24% of people are eating less meat since the pandemic. This numbers are higher in London where 40% want to eat more vegan and 42% more vegetarian food.
More than a tenth (11%) said all of their lunches were vegan or vegetarian already, but 23% would prefer to skip lunch altogether than eat a meal without meat, eggs or dairy. This supported the finding that 32% of Brits said the reason for not trying a vegan or vegetarian lunch would be that they ‘just really love meat’(39% of men and 26% of women). For others, taste (21%), cost of ingredients (19%) and concerns over nutrition (15%) were major factors.
Since the Covid-19 outbreak, the number of people having their lunch at home more than doubled (a 112% increase) and the way they choose to spend them is also a little different.
What are the top lunch activities?
Most of people spend lunch break eating (57%), surfing the internet (33%) and getting exercise or walking (27%). Less popular activities include reading (23%), watching television (22%) and shopping (14%). One in ten (10%) respondents choose to spend their lunch break having sex, and 9% cooking.
In fact, the pandemic seems to have done little to reduce time pressure on the UK workforce. Almost a tenth (9%) said that they haven’t typically taken lunchbreaks over the last month, in comparison to 10% who said they didn’t take them before the pandemic. Nearly a quarter of workers (24%) of employees eating their lunch at their workstation, compare to 34% before the pandemic.
Less people eat their lunch in breakrooms (16%) compared to 24% of respondents before the pandemic.Instead, the nation is now spending its lunchtimes at home, whether it be at the kitchen table (15%), in bed (2%) or in another room (17%). Remarkably, the number of Brits choosing to eat out over their lunchtime has remained stable, with 4% saying they spend it in a café or restaurant.
What are the most popular lunch staples?
With ‘lunch hours’ becoming a thing of the past, quick-to-prepare lunchtime staples such as sandwiches and wraps (65%), salads (32%) and soups (24%) were the nation’s most popular dishes to enjoy. Ready meals placed seventh on the list, chosen by 11% of respondents, despite 9% of people saying that they spent their lunch break cooking.
Sarah Augustine, Squeaky Bean’s co-creator, says: “Our survey reveals that the nation’s lunchtimes are jam-packed. Whether it’s trying to remain at our desks, dashing out for some exercise or hopping back into bed, there’s no shortage of pressures on our well-earned breaks. With so many demands on our time, convenient food is a must – and we believe Squeaky Bean has the answer.
“This is why we’re putting the focus back on tasty food and encouraging the nation to make their lunchtime ‘Plant Hour’. Let’s all take a moment and give our midday meal a plant-based glow up with some delicious meat-free food. Whether it’s a wrap made with our Chargrilled Mini Fillets, a protein-packed sandwich with vegan pastrami, or a simple salad with Chicken Style Pieces, a lunch free from meat, dairy and eggs can be packed with flavour and simple to achieve. It’s time for a proper plant-based break.”
Squeaky Bean's campaign aims to encourage more people to try plant-based food and to make mealtimes their ‘Plant Hour’.