New research published by the Eating Better Alliance as part of the recent British Sandwich Week has made clear the health and environmental impact of this popular lunchtime food. The snapshot survey of 620 sandwiches found that while some retailers, particularly Tesco and Pret, have made progress in terms of diversifying their sandwich ranges to include more plant-based options, the sheer volume of meat-based sandwiches is still a big concern. Surprisingly, only 9% of sandwiches have plants as their main ingredient.
Simon Billing, executive director of Eating Better, said: “The good news is that some retailers are responding to consumer demand for more plant-based options. But given the urgency of our climate and biodiversity crisis, they need to double down on their efforts to support options that are better for the environment.’
Some 33% of meat sandwiches contained meat of unknown origin. This includes all of the meat sandwiches at Boots and Subway, and the vast majority at Eat.
Anna Taylor OBE, executive director of Food Foundation, added: “Sandwiches and ready meals make up a significant part of our diet. Only14% of ready meals and 30% of sandwiches are meat- and fish-free. Replacing meat with veg is a critical part of our journey to eating better and living longer, but the supermarkets and manufacturers are not yet doing enough to help us make that journey.”