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Work from home destroying sales of Brits' favourite lunchtime meal

Lucy Harley-McKeown
·2-min read
Healthy sandwich with turkey, tomato and lettuce on whole wheat bread on a wooden board
Greencore said it had manufactured 619 million sandwiches and other food to go products in 2020. Photo: Getty

The pandemic has crushed sales of a go-to lunch item favoured by Brits: the packaged sandwich.

Dublin headquartered sandwich-maker Greencore Group (GNC.L) said on Tuesday that it had seen its revenue fall 15% in the last quarter, as people were all but grounded by the most recent coronavirus lockdowns.

Reported revenue in the quarter was £312.7m ($425.7m), it said, “reflecting the impact of Covid-19 related restrictions on demand in food to go categories.”

Revenue for its food-to-go sector declined by 21.7%, to hit £188.5m

Greencore’s share price plunged on the opening bell to recover slightly. At 8.40am in London it was still down 1.6% although up from five days before.

Its share price has had a rocky year, having declined more than 50% since last January.

A five-day look at Greencore stock. Chart: Yahoo Finance
A five-day look at Greencore stock. Chart: Yahoo Finance

The company said that for the full year of 2020 it had manufactured 619 million sandwiches and other food to go products, 116 million chilled prepared meals, and 264 million bottles of cooking sauces, pickles and condiments.

“The recovery in demand that was evident at the end of 2020 was impeded by the tiered regional restrictions on mobility introduced across the UK in October, and then by a subsequent national lockdown until early December, followed by the implementation of tiered regional lockdowns,” it said in its trading update.

READ MORE: Lidl gives UK workers one-off £200 thank you payment for pandemic work

In terms of its outlook for 2021, revenue is still currently lagging by 20% from the previous year’s levels due to the announcement of another national lockdown.

“The group will continue to proactively manage costs and cash flow through the duration of the current lockdown, while also preparing for recovery and growth as mobility restrictions begin to ease,” it said.

Watch: What UK government COVID-19 support is available?