Sushi is now so popular that it has overtaken the classic sandwich, becoming the UK’s fastest growing premium lunchtime main, according to Tesco.
Demand at the UK’s largest retailer has grown so much that the Japanese rice dish has now replaced the smoked salmon sandwich as Britain’s favourite option for lunch.
Since the beginning of this year, when Tesco launched its premium Clubcard Meal Deal for £5 across 1,100 UK stores, sushi sales skyrocketed by 90%.
Included in the premium deal – which offers shoppers a main, a drink and a snack – are a choice of sushi boxes, poke bowls and other dishes such as gyozas and bao buns.
As a result of the extra demand, Tesco now sells 30 million packs of sushi a year – where shoppers have a choice of well known sushi brands such as Itsu, YO! Sushi and Pollen & Grace, as well as a wide range of Tesco Finest mains.
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Tesco Food to Go buying manager Emma Williams said: “This is the first time that we’ve ever put premium quality sushi in one of our meal deals and this has had a significant effect in making it more affordable and accessible for shoppers.
“Demand has also been boosted by people returning to work and it’s led to restaurant group YO! opening more fresh sushi counters in our stores across the UK.
“Sushi has never been more popular and for a salmon poke bowl to overtake our previous top-selling premium lunchtime staple, the smoked salmon sandwich, really underlines that,” she added.
The news comes as Tesco is revamping its Express stores offer amid the cost-of-living crisis and is replacing 50 everyday items with cheaper alternatives.