What’s in the Great British picnic basket?

A survey of 2000 Brits by spread brand Flora has uncovered a trend towards sophisticated and homemade goodies, while traditional eats could be consigned to the history books.

17 June 2019
image credit: Getty Images

  • Almost three-quarters of those surveyed think the modern British picnic is better than ever. 
  • Cured hams such as Serrano or Parma (27%) and hummus (24%) top the list of modern-day picnic essentials for Brits. Kalamata olives (20%) and slices of rare roast beef (14%) are also common.
  • Homemade goodies form a key part of today’s hamper: 25% of people claim to bring sandwiches made from homemade bread, while the same amount also bake all their own cakes and make their own sausage rolls, including the pastry.
  • 24% said they make their own quiche, 21% will bake a honey-coated ham and 15% bring their own homemade lemonade.
  • While a fifth of Brits splash out on expensive deli meats, more than one in 10 make sure there are vegan options available – and 8% go entirely plant-based.
  • A quarter of people will always bring a selection of local artisan cheeses.
  • Some quintessentially British picnic items that could be on the way out include traditional jam sandwiches with 32% considering them passé, followed by hard-boiled eggs (26%), shop-bought Scotch eggs (25%) and cartons of cocktail sausages (24%).
  • 60% of people said they have made a concerted effort to upgrade their picnics in recent summers, a figure that increases to 74% of 16- to 29-year-olds.
  • More than a third admitted to getting competitive when it comes to picnic spreads, with 59% confessing that their parents think their picnics are overly extravagant.
  • The average Brit will spend £30 on food for a picnic and 53 minutes preparing the food for an event.
  • When it comes to drinks, one in 10 picnic snobs think that prosecco is not cool enough for their alfresco dining. A select few will go the extra mile when it comes to beverages by bringing their own homebrew (8%), or even packing a bottle or two of their homemade wine (7%).
  • Sunshine makes food taste better, according to 46% of people, while simply being outdoors made it tastier for 37%.


“Picnics are an absolute staple of the Great British summertime, and it’s fascinating to see how they are evolving into a more lavish occasion,” said a spokesperson for Flora.

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