British tapas – otherwise known as ‘picky bits’ – set to become bigger than BBQs this summer, Deliveroo shows

According to research from Deliveroo, nearly half (49%) of Brits refer to British-style finger food as ‘picky bits’.

A study of 2,000 UK adults found that picky bits is fast-becoming a UK favourite food ritual, with 52% choosing it as the meal of choice in warmer weather, ahead of a barbecue (50%), roast dinner (23%) and a full English (22%). 

Furthermore, almost 10 per cent said they prefer picky bits over their favourite childhood home cooked meal.

Additionally, the most popular picky bits include sandwiches, cheese and crackers and scotch eggs, with 60% of people crowning crisps as the ultimate ruler of the picky-verse.

Other picky bits in the top 20 list included quiche, cold meats such as charcuterie and rolled up ham, sweet treats, pork pies and beige bits like sausage and veggie rolls.  Over a fifth of people cited cheese cubes as the food item they only eat when enjoying a Picky Bits meal.

On the opposite end of the scale, the least favourite picky bits were found to be couscous, and corn cobbettes, with vine leaves, voted as a defiant NO in a Picky Bits spread.

Popular places to indulge in the food ritual that is a picky bits meal is at home (41%), in the garden alfresco (19%) or at a picnic (10%). Nearly one in five (19%) Brits say the ease of making a picky bits meal means they can spend more time socialising with loved ones. 

Deliveroo has seen a huge increase in demand for picky bits with last year’s 3rd May Bank Holiday seeing a 42% WoW rise across some of the UK’s favourite picky bits; this includes pork pies by 81%, cold cuts of meat such as charcuterie by 72%, crisps by 62% and scotch eggs by 48%. According to the British food delivery service, hot weather days also see customers ordering more Picky Bits. Last year’s summer heatwave (15th – 25th July 2021) saw sales of potato salad rise by 31% and olives rise by 12% on the Deliveroo app compared to the week before, as Brits across the country opted for a picky bits meal to satisfy their hunger cravings in the sunshine.

Interestingly, Picky Bits is no longer just seen as a spontaneous meal choice. It seems Picky Bits has become firmly part of the UK’s most loved meals with 33% of Brits adding the dish to conscious meal planning.   

As a result, 38% of those polled said a picky bits meal has also become part of family traditions, in the same way as a Sunday roast.  

It also emerged that men were more likely to have a picky bits meal for breakfast,  that Brits love the variety of a picky bits meal (35%) and that they also think picky bits are a great way to use up leftovers (32%). And interestingly, more than 49% of people also said that picky bits is the only acceptable meal to have both savoury and sweet food combinations on the same plate.  

The research revealed that some regional variations of a picky bits meal are also known as ‘buffets’, ‘snack picks’  and ‘finger food tea’.

Arabella Jenkins, a spokesperson at Deliveroo said: “Picky bits is the British equivalent of tapas and the research shows this is indisputably a food ritual that is now part of British culture, particularly as the weather gets warmer.   

Putting together a plate of quintessential British-style picky bits like pork pies, crisps and cheese cubes is quick and fuss free – meaning you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time with friends and family this Bank Holiday.” 

The Top 20 picky bits are:

  1. Crisps
  2. Cheese & crackers
  3. Sandwiches, wraps, rolls etc
  4. Chips
  5. Cold meats e.g. rolled up ham, sausages, charcuterie 
  6. Fruit e.g. strawberries, grapes etc
  7. Pork Pies
  8. Crusty bread, pitta, sourdough etc.
  9. Scotch eggs
  10. Cheese cubes
  11. Quiche
  12. Cherry Tomatoes
  13. Beige bits like sausage and veggie rolls
  14. Sweet treats e.g. brownies, ice-lollies etc
  15. Coleslaw
  16. Cocktail sticks with pineapple
  17. Salads
  18. Boiled eggs
  19. Olives
  20. Hummus

Customers can order picky bits food items on the Deliveroo app, or online, via grocery partners including Waitrose, Morrisons, Co-op and Sainsbury’s, with delivery in as little as 20 minutes. Download the app here.App link will direct people to their device’s app store.