Data reveals the UK’s most popular 2020 meal deal options

Data from workplace refreshments company, Express Vending, has revealed the nation’s most popular meal deal choices in 2020.

Despite many of us working remotely throughout 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Express Vending continued to cater to key workers and those unable to work from home – keeping our logistics, manufacturing and transport sectors fuelled, among others.

This contributed to internal data for over 44,000 purchases and reveals chicken sandwiches, chilli crisps, chocolate bars and fruit and nuts among the top meal deal choices – with coffee and cola revealed as the most common hot and cold refreshments.

#Most Popular Sandwich Fillings of 2020Sales% of total.
1Chicken235842.3
2Ham65511.8
3Cheese60710.9
4Seafood57110.2
5Egg56910.2
6Meatfeast2214.0
7Falafel1582.8
8Houmous1262.3
9Duck971.7
10Breakfast881.6

The staple of the British meal deal is the sandwich, with chicken revealed as the nation’s most popular filling, making up almost half of all purchases (42.3 percent). Ham, cheese, seafood and egg make up the top 5 most popular sandwiches choices.

When it comes to alternative meal deal ‘mains’, rolls were the top choice, with pasties, wraps, toasties and noodles among the other popular options.

With an increasing number of UK workers skipping their lunch hour to eat-while-they-work, one-handed mains are perhaps the obvious answer for those opting for a ‘working lunch’.

#Most Popular Crisp FlavoursSales% of total.
1Chilli95722.5
2Salt & Vinegar91421.5
3Cheese/Onion63614.9
4Meat Flavour59814.1
5Ready Salted55813.1
6Paprika47811.2
7Vegetable821.9
8Prawn Cocktail320.8

Among the more surprising results was chilli being revealed as the most popular crisp flavour, beating traditional flavours salt and vinegar and cheese and onion, which came in 2nd and 3rd place respectively.

This comes considering a study last year which claimed cheese and onion was the nation’s favourite crisp flavour. However, the latest sales data sees chilli crowned ‘king of the crisps’, accounting for almost a quarter of purchases (22.5 percent).

When it comes to meal deal snacks, chocolate bars were the most popular ‘treat’ choice, with flapjacks and grab bags completing the top three. Those opting for ‘healthy’ snack choices mostly chose fruit and nuts (38 percent), with alternative crisps and snack bars also proving popular.

Less surprisingly, coffee and cola topped the list for hot and cold drinks. Hot chocolate and syrup coffee completed the top 3 hot drink choices while sparkling fruit drinks and sports energy drinks were the second and third most popular cold drinks respectively.

With coffee, cola and energy drinks featuring heavily, it suggests employees are after a post-lunch pick-me-up, provided by their high caffeine content, to get through the afternoon shift.

The most important meal of the day

Express Vending data also revealed the nation’s favourite ‘working breakfast’ choices. Croissants topped the list, with muffins in second place and cereal only featuring in third place.

#Most Popular Breakfast Choices of 2020Sales% of Total
1Croissant64633.5
2Muffin59330.8
3Cereal29415.3
4Waffle1869.7
5Porridge1789.2
6Yoghurt291.5

The rise in more portable breakfast options like croissants and muffins – compared with traditional ‘sit-down’ breakfast choices like cereal and porridge – suggests a link to the increasing popularity of ‘breakfast meetings’, which have been linked to increased focus and productivity, compared with lunches or working dinners.

To view the full data, click here. Or you can compare your common meal deal choices against the nation’s favourites in our interactive quiz, here.

Author: Editorial Team

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