Co-op packed lunch misery

In: Uncategorized

6 Apr 2008

I must receive many thousands of press releases every year but one last week from Cooperative Financial Services must rank among the most despicable. It started by revealing that “the British workforce spends a staggering £162 million on lunch every day”. It then calculated that this figure represents an average of £5.503 per day, which equates to £1,265 per year or £50,600 in a lifetime. The next stage was to declare that “the research shows that only just over a quarter (29 per cent) of the 3,200 people questioned take a packed lunch to work with them. Two-fifths (41 per cent) of the British workforce purchase their lunch from the local supermarket while one in seven (14 per cent) prefer to stay close to the grindstone and visit the staff canteen.”

I do not know about my readers but spending £5.50 per day on lunch does not seem excessive to me. However, the Co-op has done its sums. It says that “official statistics show that the Great British favourite is a BLT sandwich with a banana and a packet of crisps washed down with a café latte. If everybody took the time to make their own BLT sandwich at home and substituted the expensive caffeine option for water, they could save £4.36 every day which equates a total saving of over £1,000 per year.”

It seems to me excessively churlish to begrudge people the “luxury” of buying a sandwich and packet of crisps for lunch. And having a café latte instead of water is hardly the height of decadence. This also underlines James Heartfield’s point about environmentalists having contempt for our time.

Of course the Co-op has a reason for asking us to forsake consumption in the present. If only we invested in a Coop personal pension we would be much better off in retirement, it says. However, according to my calculations it could mean about 11,000 frantic morning rushes to make packed lunches and the same number of miserable lunchtimes.

Comment Form