2021
9
UK Attitudes towards Lunch at Home Market Report 2021
2021-07-02T04:12:42+01:00
OX1046011
2195
139967
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Report
en_GB
“COVID-19 has provided a significant boost to the lunch at home occasion, thanks to the closure of foodservice establishments and increased working from home during 2020 and much of 2021.

UK Attitudes towards Lunch at Home Market Report 2021

£ 2,195 (Excl.Tax)

Description

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the UK Attitudes towards Lunch at Home market, including the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had various effects on the way people buy and eat food, especially during lunchtime. The predicted long-term trend of flexible working will mean that the potential audience for lunch at home will be considerably bigger than it waws before the pandemic. Increased focus on health has also caused more people to eat healthily, with 31% of people agreeing that the COVID-19 outbreak has made the environmental benefits of eating less meat seem more important, and 61% of people wasting less food than before the pandemic.

47% of people surveyed in April 2021 expect to eat lunch at home five times a week in the next six months. This reflects the impact that the pandemic has had on working life, and points to long-term opportunities for brands to target the lunch at home occasion. 44% of pasta, rice or noodle eaters and buyers state that they regularly eat instant noodles for lunch, with 30% of people believing eating high-protein food will keep you fuller for longer. Nutritionally balanced ready meals appeal to 58% of those who typically eat and buy ready meals/ready-to-cook foods.

With the continual easing of COVID-19 restrictions, competition for foodservice establishment is already beginning to re-emerge, with a legacy boost to online supermarkets being predicted going forward. The trend for everyday lunches at home to be mostly prepared from scratch holds significant potential for brands able to position their snacks as an ingredient for lunch dishes rather than an accompaniment.

Read on to discover more details or take a look at all of our UK Household, House and Home market research.

Quickly understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on the lunch at home market
  • Frequency of eating lunch at home in spring 2021 and expected frequency in the autumn
  • Levels of cooking for lunch at home on everyday and leisure occasions and broad product types used to prepare/cook lunch at home
  • Consumer behaviours and attitudes related to lunch at home
  • Qualities most important for lunch at home on an everyday occasion.
  • Lunches market research.
  • Lunch break statistics.
  • Lunches analysis.

Covered in this report

Brands:Pret a Manger, Warburtons, Birds Eye, Saclà, Hellmanns, Hovis, Heinz, Branston Pickle, Bol, Taste the Difference, Itsu, Waitrose & Partners, John West, Quinola, Sainsbury’s, Nem Viet, La Famiglia Rana, Belvita, Nestlé, Kelloggs, Marks & Spencer, Hans, Leon, Nuttee Bean Co., SeaPoint Farms, Mr Kipling.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

This report, written by Alice Pilkington, a leading analyst in the Food and Drink sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

COVID-19 has provided a significant boost to the lunch at home occasion, thanks to the closure of foodservice establishments and increased working from home during 2020 and much of 2021. More flexible working predicted going forward points to a larger lunch at home audience than pre-pandemic, with opportunities lying in offering quick and easy lunch solutions and ideas on how to use dinner leftovers to create lunch dishes. However, emphasising versatility will be key to preventing boredom.

Alice Pilkington
Food and Drink Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • Key issues covered in this report
    • COVID-19: Market context
    • Economic and other assumptions
    • Topics covered in this Report
  2. Executive Summary

    • Impact of COVID-19 on lunch at home
      • Figure 1: Short, medium and long term impact of COVID-19 on lunch at home,18 June 2020
    • The market
    • COVID-19 increases focus on health
    • PHE launches more salt reduction targets for 2024
    • Consumer confidence already returning to pre-pandemic levels
    • Ageing population will provide long-term support to lunch at home
    • Predicted move out of cities for some could also support lunch at home
    • Companies and brands
    • Brands respond to huge increase in lunch at home occasions
    • Bread brands raise people’s sandwich game
    • Brands less commonly linked with lunch tap into increasingly significant occasion
    • Hellmann’s targets lunch as part of food waste campaign
    • The consumer
    • 65% have eaten lunch at home 5 times a week or more …
      • Figure 2: How often people have eaten lunch at home in the last month, by age, April 2021
    • … and 47% expect to continue to do this in six months’ time
      • Figure 3: How often people expect to eat lunch at home in six months’ time, by age, April 2021
    • Everyday lunch is cooked from scratch by nearly two thirds
      • Figure 4: Types of dish eaten for lunch at home on everyday and leisure occasions, April 2021
    • Three quarters use fresh produce for everyday lunches
      • Figure 5: Types of food used to prepare/cook lunch at home on an everyday occasion in the last month, April 2021
    • 6-15 minutes is most popular preparation/cooking time, but nearly a third are prepared to spend up to 30 minutes for everyday lunch
      • Figure 6: How much time people have spent preparing/cooking lunch at home on an everyday occasion in the last month, April 2021
    • Ease and speed are top attributes for an everyday lunch at home, nearly half want satiety till dinner
      • Figure 7: Qualities most important for lunch at home on an everyday occasion, April 2021
    • 89% buy foods for lunch in the main grocery shop, 48% would like ideas on dinner leftovers for lunch
      • Figure 8: Behaviours related to lunch at home, April 2021
    • 69% agree that condiments make lunch more exciting, over half think snack products make lunch more satisfying
      • Figure 9: Attitudes towards lunch at home, April 2021
  3. Issues and Insights

    • At-home lunch becomes increasingly significant occasion due to COVID-19
    • Ease and speed are most important attributes for an everyday lunch at home
    • Ideas for lunches from dinner leftovers can tap into long-term sustainability focus
    • Snack products could tap into increased cooking from scratch by repositioning themselves as ingredients
  4. The Market – Key Takeaways

    • COVID-19 spurs on new government obesity strategy
    • PHE launches more salt reduction targets for 2024
    • Consumer confidence already returning to pre-pandemic levels
    • Ageing population will provide long-term support to lunch at home
    • Predicted move out of cities for some could also support lunch at home
  5. Market Drivers

    • COVID-19 increases focus on health …
    • … and spurs on new government health strategy
    • Some proposals already confirmed
    • PHE launches more salt reduction targets for 2024
    • Consumer confidence already returning to pre-pandemic levels
      • Figure 10: Key drivers affecting Mintel’s market forecast, 2015-25 (prepared on 5 March 2021)
    • Ageing population will provide long-term support to lunch at home
      • Figure 11: Trends in the age structure of the UK population, 2015-25
    • Predicted move out of cities for some could also provide a boost to lunch at home
    • Pret a Manger has already announced intention to follow its customers
  6. Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

    • Brands respond to huge increase in lunch at home occasions
    • Bread brands raise people’s sandwich game
    • Brands less commonly linked with lunch tap into increasingly significant occasion
    • Hellmann’s targets lunch as part of food waste campaign
  7. Advertising and Marketing Activity

    • Brands respond to huge increase in lunch at home occasions
    • Bread brands help to raise people’s sandwich game …
    • … whilst others look to expanding people’s perceptions of their products
      • Figure 12: Hovis showing how to use bread as a pizza base, 2020
      • Figure 13: Heinz showing how mayonnaise can be used as an alternative to salad dressing, 2020
    • Brands less commonly linked with lunch tap into increasingly significant occasion
      • Figure 14: Birds Eye tapping into lunch at home occasion through a recipe idea, 2021
    • Branston Pickle reinforces collaboration with Cathedral City …
      • Figure 15: Branston pickle reinforces collaboration with Cathedral City, 2021
    • … whilst Hellmann’s targets lunch as part of food waste campaign
    • Bol pivots attention away from lunch on the go towards at-home occasion
      • Figure 16: Bol targets working from home occasion during first nationwide lockdown, 2020
  8. The Consumer – Key Takeaways

    • Health becomes higher priority for a third
    • Cooking from scratch increases due to COVID-19
    • 65% have eaten lunch at home 5 times a week or more …
    • … and 47% expect to continue to do this in six months’ time
    • Ease and speed are most important attributes for an everyday lunch at home
    • 89% buy foods for lunch within their main grocery shop
    • Over half agree that eating snack products with lunch makes the meal more satisfying
  9. Impact of COVID-19 on Consumer Behaviour

    • Health becomes higher priority for a third
    • Nationwide lockdowns see huge increase in working from home …
    • … with more flexible working predicted to be a long-term trend
    • Pandemic sees significant changes in grocery shopping habits
    • Cooking from scratch increases due to COVID-19
    • Where people live will determine access to options for lunch at home
    • Sustainability focus predicted to be long-term consequence of the pandemic
  10. Frequency of Lunch at Home

    • 65% have eaten lunch at home 5 times a week or more …
      • Figure 17: How often people have eaten lunch at home in the last month, by age, April 2021
    • … and 47% expect to continue to do this in six months’ time
      • Figure 18: How often people expect to eat lunch at home in six months’ time, by age, April 2021
  11. Types of Dish Eaten for Lunch at Home on Different Occasions

    • Everyday lunch is cooked from scratch by nearly two thirds
      • Figure 19: Types of dish eaten for lunch at home on everyday and leisure occasions, April 2021
  12. Types of Food Used to Prepare/Cook Lunch at Home on an Everyday Occasion

    • Three quarters use fresh produce for everyday lunches
      • Figure 20: Types of food used to prepare/cook lunch at home on an everyday occasion in the last month, April 2021
    • Fresh produce heavily relied upon by those seeking 5-a-day …
      • Figure 21: Recent examples of other categories calling out suitability for lunch and providing recipe ideas, 2021
    • … whilst frozen and tinned vegetables should call out balanced nutrition elements more
      • Figure 22: Recent examples of frozen and tinned products making health claims prominent on front-of-pack, 2019-20
    • Non-chilled foods can leverage convenience to attract scratch-cooks
      • Figure 23: Recent examples of non-chilled foods emphasising speed and ease, 2020-1
    • Continuing to push nutrient content could help shelf-stable products boost health halo
      • Figure 24: Birds Eye garden peas calling out their freshness and how this retains nutrients, 2021
  13. Time Spent Preparing/Cooking Lunch at Home on an Everyday Occasion

    • Calling out prep time is crucial to harness lunch at home occasion
      • Figure 25: how much time people have spent preparing/cooking lunch at home on an everyday occasion in the last month, April 2021
    • 6-15 minutes is most popular preparation/cooking time …
      • Figure 26: Sainsbury’s Slow Cooked… British Pork BBQ Ribs with a Sweet Honey Glaze prominently calling out prep time, 2021
      • Figure 27: Recent examples of products calling out 15 minute preparation time and no washing up, 2019-20
    • … but nearly a third are prepared to spend up to 30 minutes
  14. Qualities Most Important for Lunch at Home on an Everyday Occasion

    • Ease and speed are most important attributes for an everyday lunch at home
      • Figure 28: Qualities Most Important for Lunch at Home on an Everyday Occasion, April 2021
    • Considerable opportunities in healthier lunch options
    • Continuing to call out health benefits on-pack will appeal to healthy scratch-cooks
    • Meal components could look to breakfast products for inspiration …
      • Figure 29: Recent examples of breakfast products giving pairing ideas for balanced meal, 2020-1
    • Calling out contribution to daily nutrient intakes could also tap into interest in balanced nutrition
      • Figure 30: Kellogg’s Rice Krispies calling out contribution to daily vitamin D intake, 2020
    • Calorie-controlled ready meals could look to pairing this with balanced nutrition
      • Figure 31: M&S Food Balanced For You seafood linguine calling out protein, balanced carbs and calorie content, 2019
    • Nearly half want a lunch that keeps them full until dinner time
      • Figure 32: Belvita making link with foods high in slowly digestive starch and giving energy for the whole morning, 2020
    • Additional potential for lighter snack-style products to target lunch
      • Figure 33: Hans Lunch Plates Spanish Style Chorizo calling out suitability as a gourmet light lunch, 2021
  15. Behaviours Related to Lunch at Home

    • 89% buy foods for lunch within their main grocery shop
      • Figure 34: Behaviours related to lunch at home, April 2021
    • 48% would like more ideas on using dinner leftovers for different dishes for lunch
    • Social media can be utilised to help people access ideas …
    • … whilst on-pack leftover suggestions may help boost value for money image
      • Figure 35: Sainsbury’s Boxing Day Curry Sauce calling out leftover recipe ideas, 2020
    • Supermarkets can use end of aisle displays to give ideas
    • A third have tried to recreate their favourite out-of-home lunch at home
    • Retail range must focus on products synonymous with the brand’s foodservice experience
      • Figure 36: Recent examples of foodservice brands launching lunch-appropriate meals, 2021
  16. Attitudes towards Lunch at Home

    • 69% agree that condiments make lunch more exciting
      • Figure 37: Attitudes towards lunch at home, April 2021
    • Collaborations with classic lunch ingredients could remind people how condiments can elevate the occasion
    • Over half agree that eating snack products with lunch makes the meal more satisfying
    • Snack products could tap into increased cooking from scratch by repositioning themselves as ingredients
    • Walkers Crisps creates an online recipe book …
    • … whilst meat snacks and pulse-based snacks could push their high-protein proposition
      • Figure 38: Recent US examples of pulse-based snacks suggesting use within meals, 2020-21
    • Sweet snacks could elevate the traditional lunchbox positioning
      • Figure 39: Mr Kipling Signature Collection After Dinner Chocolate & Orange Fancies, 2020
  17. Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

    • Abbreviations
    • Consumer research methodology

About the report

This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.

Market

Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.

Consumer

Mintel’s proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.

Brand/Company

Mintel provides overviews of the top brands and manufacturers, and uses consumer research to explore attitudes and reactions to brands, as well as insight into what will resonate with consumers.

Data

Market reports provide appendices of data to support the research and insight produced. Our databooks* are easily manipulated and downloadable to support your research needs and covers factors from consumer attitudes to market forecasts.

*databooks not available with UK B2B Industry reports.

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