Britain is a nation of sandwich lovers, with almost half (45%) of people nationwide saying they couldn’t live without sandwiches, rising to 55% of those aged 25 – 44 according to a new survey by OnePoll of 2,000 nationally representative respondents into sandwich consumption on behalf of Vadasz, the fresh super condiments brand, to celebrate British Sandwich Week (17th-23rd May). Seven in 10 (67%) respondents ranked sandwiches 7+ out of 10 on a scale of how much they like them, and more than one third (38%) eat sandwiches several times a week.
Men love sandwiches the most but 15% of women would rather eat a sandwich than have sex
Men are the biggest sandwich fans –while the average woman eats 3.2 sandwiches per week, the average man eats 4.5. One third (30%) of men eat sandwiches six or more times a week compared to 14% of women, and one in five (18%) men eat a sandwich every single day. A quarter of men (24%) would also rather eat a sandwich than a chocolate bar, compared to 13% of women, and 26% of men even say they’d rather eat a sandwich than play sport.
Women may not be quite as enthusiastic about sandwiches as men but 15% would rather eat a sandwich than have sex, compared to 7% of men – and one in five (20%) would rather eat a sandwich than go to the pub.
When it comes to purchasing sandwiches, taste (71%) and cost (45%) are the most important factors for both men and women, but 30% of men rate the size of their sandwich as the next most important consideration, while women are more concerned about the calories it contains, with 21% of women citing this as one of the top three deciding factors when purchasing a sandwich compared to 15% of men.
A fifth of young people would rather eat a sandwich than go on a date
Those aged 25 – 34 are the nation’s biggest sandwich lovers, eating more than any other age category, averaging 4.3 sandwiches per week. 34% of respondents in this age group would rather eat a sandwich than play sport, 20% would rather eat one than go on a date, and 19% prefer to tuck into a bap than hang out with their mates. Even more surprisingly, 16% would rather eat a sandwich than have sex.
BLT is Britain’s favourite sandwich filling but women are preferential to an egg mayonnaise
The nation’s top three sandwich choices are the BLT, bacon butty and cheese & pickle. Men are particularly partial to a BLT, while women are equally enamoured with an egg mayonnaise. And 16 – 24 year olds buck the trend, as their ideal sandwich filling is roast chicken, with tuna mayo the second most popular filling among young people.
The majority of us (64%) mainly eat home-made sandwiches and Brits aren’t afraid to pack them out with all manner of accompaniments; 45% of people enjoy crisps in their sandwich, 43% like to spread it with pickle and 39% with ketchup, while 37% of people would add chips.
25 – 34 year olds show the greatest enthusiasm for sandwich toppings and are the most diverse in their creations. In line with emerging trends for pickled, fermented and healthier food choices that don’t compromise on taste, this age range is perking up their subs with European and middle eastern flavours; 33% add pickled gherkins or cucumbers, 23% hummus, 22% falafel, 22% pickled onions, 19% kimchi and 15% sauerkraut.
We’re likely to see more of these fresh, versatile and healthy condiments added to sandwiches in the future, as 45% of people say they like a saucy sandwich and rated the importance of condiments such as pickles, ferments, mustard or ketchup in a sandwich as 7 or more out of 10.
How we like our cheese toasties
Brits love a cheese toasty but when it comes to favourite toppings, the majority like to keep it straightforward with ham being the most popular choice, selected by 36% of respondents. Many of us think no accompaniment is required to improve on our cheese toasties and 31% say they prefer to eat their toasted sandwich with cheese only. The third favourite toasty topping is bacon (27%), although women prefer tomatoes (26%).
Our 25 – 34 year old sandwich connoisseurs are more diverse when it comes to loading up their toasties as 15% like to add tuna, while 12% prefer kimcheese – grilled cheese and kimchi – and 10% add pastrami.
Charlie Holland, senior brand manager at Vadasz, said: “The UK really loves its sandwiches and while traditional favourites such as BLT and cheese & pickle stand firm at the top of the sandwich charts, it’s great to see the younger generation becoming more experimental with their sandwich creations by adding kimchis, pickles and sauerkraut to shake-up more boring baps.
“Vadasz Deli produces a range of pots including Super Green Kimchi and Raw Garlic & Dill Sauerkraut, which can add a burst of colour, taste and texture to enhance sandwiches in seconds. What’s more, our pickles and ferments don’t only taste amazing, but are great for the gut and offer anti-inflammatory and immune boosting properties – making them the perfect, guilt-free accompaniment to the nation’s favourite lunch time meal.”
Jim Winship, director of The British Sandwich & Food To Go Association behind British Sandwich Week, says: “While I was aware that sandwiches were Britain’s favourite food by some way, I was not aware that they were so orgasmic until I saw this survey – no wonder they are so popular. This is just the sort of pick-me up we all need as we emerge from lockdowns.”