Mintel revealed that the number of consumers buying lunch for an everyday occasion has risen to 76% in 2017, up from 64% in 2016.
The figures also showed that of those who buy lunch to eat out of home, under one-third (32%) look for the cheapest priced lunch item from Monday to Wednesday while 31% do so on a Thursday and Friday. Only one in five (22%) look for the cheapest lunch on Saturday and Sunday.
Mintel senior leisure analyst Helen Fricker said wider choice is one of the reasons more people are eating out at lunchtime.
She said: “The range of options for lunch on the high street has grown, which means those with dietary needs are far better catered to than in previous years.
“State of mind is also a key driver behind lunchtime food choice and the increased availability of healthy, mood-boosting and functional foods is tapping into this need.
“The importance of taking regular breaks at work and making time for a proper lunch break is widely known to improve health and make workers more productive.
“Those who are simply grabbing something without thinking about what they are eating may be missing out on the positive effects food can have on mood, which in turn could mean reduced competency.”
It wasn’t good news for the traditional Sunday roast, with one in three (34%) Brits saying that brunch has replaced traditional weekend lunches, rising to almost half (48%) of those aged 25 to 34 and 45% of Londoners.
Fricker added: “Brunch is a big business. It seems that diners cannot get enough of a weekend brunch and operators are only too happy to cater to this.
“Over the past few years there has been a huge rise in brunch availability and all types of foodservice outlets have entered into this space. The range on offer is ever expanding and the variations available continue to evolve.”