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Shorter lunch breaks in Ireland present opportunity for FMCG

29 April 2015

Shorter lunch times mean that one out of five Irish consumers skip on lunch almost every day, finds a new global consumer survey by Canadean. However, this presents a great opportunity for FMCG companies which need to bring convenient, tasty and comforting lunch options to the table. 

According to the survey, one in five Irish consumers are skipping lunch almost every day and 44% are skipping their afternoon meal at least twice during the working week. Lunch is supposed to be a staple meal in consumers’ diets, providing a break half way through the day. However, as consumers feel stressed at work and are looking to impress their employers, they often take a quick break or none at all, leaving little time to enjoy food.

Kirsty Nolan, analyst with Canadean, says: “Nowadays, many busy employees who feel under pressure to meet their work commitments grab a quick bite at their desk, if anything at all. Even though this might initially sound like bad news, shorter lunch breaks actually present a huge opportunity for FMCG manufactures to target busy consumers with convenient, fast and exciting options.”

Comfort and relaxation with a fast and tasty lunch option 

To date, manufacturers have been paying a lot of attention to consumers skipping breakfast, with innovators constantly creating the latest on-the-go breakfast solution. According to Canadean, the morning goods category, which includes ready-to-eat baked products such as croissants, pancakes and toaster pastries, had a volume of 4.5 million kilograms in 2014, and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 2.7% over the next five years. Leading players in the market such as Kellogg’s and In-store Bakeries have been providing consumers with the ideal, convenient breakfast solution. Meanwhile, the lunch box has remained much the same since the launch of Pot Noodles in the late 70s and Marks and Spencer’s introduction of pre-packed sandwiches in 1980.

The survey reveals that six out of ten consumers in Ireland agree that convenient food can also be tasty, while roughly the same number (62%) find food appealing that suits their needs for comfort. “These results abolish some barriers that used to stand in the way of convenience food. The strategy to reignite the lunch time might lie in offering consumers a moment of comfort and relaxation with a fast and appetising lunch option.”


Lunch At Work Desk

Many consumers only grab a quick snack at their work desk for lunch.



All numbers used in this text are based on a Canadean survey of 1,000 adults based in Ireland and Canadean Intelligence Center data.

Please get in contact if you have any questions to this or other Canadean surveys. Analysts are available to comment. Contact the Canadean press office on +44 (0) 207 936 6536 or email


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