Sales of bacon butties were reported to be reaching a high this week as Brits returned to school and work; many being back in the office for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic – which was greeted with great relief by Britain’s beleaguered sandwich makers.
According to reports from members of The British Sandwich & Food to Go Association, more people have been grabbing a hot breakfast butty on the go this month than for some time, which goes to proves that the pandemic has not killed off our love for this Great British breakfast staple.
There were queues out of the door at Greggs in Manchester during September, where bosses are seeing a healthy increase in breakfast trade as the city gets back to business.
Statistics released from Kantar Group showed that Brits consumed 28 million hot breakfasts on the go in the weeks leading up to and including the first week of September, proving the pandemic hasn’t killed off our love of this Great British breakfast staple.
The breakfast trade is thought to be worth over £2billion each year to the UK economy – a conservative estimate. And if every commuter/worker in the UK bought a breakfast sandwich in September, the UK would get a £77 million boost.
A store manager at Greggs on Oxford Street in Manchester said:
“We’re a new store – we opened around five weeks ago and we’re definitely getting busier by the day as people are coming back into the city. The first two weeks of September have been our busiest to date and breakfast trade has been a big part of that. I think we’ll see a further leap in sales as the furlough scheme ends in the next few weeks.
For the first time in a long time, it really feels like things are getting back to normal. There’s a real buzz around the city centre, it feels good to be back and what better way to celebrate than with a bacon butty!”
Bacon regularly tops the charts as Britain’s favourite sandwich filling, and during British Sandwich Week in May, it was revealed as the UK’s top-selling sandwich as it has been for years previously.
And it’s not just bacon, but any type of breakfast butty that gets our mouths watering – with bacon, sausage, bacon and egg and then all three fillings together that take up four of the top ten spots of the nation’s best-selling sarnies.
But what is it about bacon as a sandwich filling that makes it so darn irresistible?
Jim Winship, Director of The British Sandwich & Food to Go Association and the brains behind the new ‘Your Breakfast is Waiting’ campaign being launched in September, which urges Brits to start the day with a great breakfast, says:
“It’s official, we Brits love our bacon. After fasting overnight, our bodies need nourishment to get us ready for the day ahead – and what better than an energy boosting and delicious bacon butty, accompanied by a steaming cup of breakfast tea or coffee, to get us back to work with gusto?
“Many of the key nutrients we need to boost our energy levels at the start of the day are to be found in this much-loved favourite, including Vitamin B, iron and fibre.
“Such is the popularity of the bacon butty that in a poll of 60,000 Britons, it topped the bill ahead of fish & chips, James Bond and The Queen. Bacon also regularly comes out as one of the most popular filling in a sandwich in consumer surveys carried out by the industry.
“The bacon butty is, of course, just one example of why sandwiches continue to dominate the UK landscape. Before lockdown we spent over £8 billion buying commercially made sandwiches and researchers suggest that this represents less than half the total number we consume annually, the balance being made casually in our homes.”
The British Sandwich and Food to Go association has named Thursday 23rd September as the first ever National Bacon Butty Day to celebrate this Great British institution.
Image caption: Hungry commuters queue up for the nation’s favourite bacon butties at the new Greggs store on Oxford Street,in Manchester as Britain gets back to business.