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Lunch - not to be taken lightly

Sandwiches have become the latest status symbol for ambitious office workers, according to market research carried out by the supermarket chain Tesco. Bosses are making sure they order more expensive sandwiches than their secretaries, who will in turn order more expensive sandwiches than the lowly receptionist.

According to Tesco, it's all to do with image. "Sandwiches are usually eaten at your desk, and everyone looks to see what the next person has bought," said a spokesman.

Well-paid executives invariably insist on designer sandwiches, made from speciality breads, rather than a humble sliced loaf.

It appears businessmen don't want to be seen with a humble cheese sandwich. "They want to be seen as sophisticated and knowledgeable about food - and a sandwich which stands out in a crowd is used to give them psychological edge over their rivals," said the spokesman.