Some familiar faces weigh in on the debate

The great crisp sandwich debate: The ultimate British snack or absolutely deplorable?

A new poll on the acceptableness of crisp sandwiches has divided the nation

Hannah Twiggs@hannah_twiggs
Friday 23 April 2021 11:03
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In a world where discussions around food sustainability rage on, TikTok has us eating an inordinate amount of baked feta and people flock to pub gardens up and down the country, the debate around crisps and sandwiches seems an unlikely one to unite the nation.

Yet almost all of us (98 per cent) agree that it’s a winning combination for a quick, easy and delicious meal. When you hear the question, “Does Britain even have a cuisine?!”, you now have an answer.

But when it comes down to whether you politely place your crisps to the side of your sandwich, or ram them right inside it, is where things really start to heat up.

According to a new study by Walkers, 27 per cent of us like nothing more than a crisp sarnie, 34 per cent abhor the idea, and the rest aren’t picky. That’s not to mention a select few (two in five) that feel strongly that a crisp sandwich should be just that: only crisps and bread.

For years, Walkers have sat on the sidelines but now they’ve decided to settle this age-old debate by asking fans to cast their vote/out themselves on social media with the hashtag #crispIN or #crispOUT.

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Marketing manager at Walkers Phillippa Pennington says: “We know that a sandwich and a bag of Walkers crisps is a British lunchtime staple, but it was clear to us from the survey that people felt VERY strongly about whether or not the crisps should be eaten in their sandwich or on the side. It was truly getting heated.”

Well, their research found that the nation loves the crunchy addition of crisps to their lunchtime sandwich so much that two billion are consumed across the country every single year. That’s 35 crisp sarnies each. No doubt Ben Taylorson, who went viral earlier this year for eating a crisp sandwich every day, can account for a large portion of that sum.

A cheese sandwich with Ready Salted crisps is the nation’s favourite

Of those who voted “in”, one in three Britons declared a cheese sandwich stuffed with Ready Salted crisps the “God Tier” combination. That is followed by a cheese sandwich with Cheese & Onion crisps (29 per cent) and a ham sarnie with Ready Salted (27 per cent). And, for the absolute connoisseurs, a simple cheese sandwich stuffed with Pickled Onion flavoured crisps is the sarnie du jour for a humble 19 per cent.

Oh, but the finickiness doesn’t end there. Voters overwhelming insisted that their crisp sandwiches be served on white sliced bread (39 per cent) and cut into rectangles (47 per cent).

Cheese & Onion (30 per cent), Ready Salted (19 per cent) and Salt & Vinegar (14 per cent) are the top choices for fillings, while Marmite crisps shouldn’t be seen dead between two slices of bread (that is despite being the UK’s 20th favourite flavour). Hummus, jam and bananas are among the other bizarre fillings favoured by (a select few of) the nation. Classic crisps are really the only acceptable choice for a sarnie (59 per cent), while crinkle cut, ridged or lower fat alternatives can get lost.

Some crisp-sandwichers believe adding a bit of crunch to their sarnie improves texture and flavour, while others say it makes their lunch more exciting and nostalgic. In fact, some of them (13 per cent) love it so much that they would serve crisp sandwiches at a dinner party. Lunch is the preferred eating time for a crisp sarnie, but nearly a quarter scoff it as a snack in the afternoon while a peculiar 13 per cent swear by one before bed (they rival the 3 per cent of people that call a sandwich a “scuffler”).

Crinkle cut? Absolutely not

But not everyone waves the crisp sandwich flag with pride. Nearly a fifth are forced to consume their creations in secret, otherwise they (nine per cent) feel “judged”. The Gen Zs and Millennials feel especially nervous about revealing their habit – they are seven times more likely to feel persecuted than the over-65s, who apparently couldn’t care less.

Fans are taking to Twitter to cast their votes, while Walkers have teamed up with Subway to offer “crisp in” and “crisp out” subs (until 25 May).

Well, whether you vote “in” or “out” (this sounds familiar...), one thing is for sure: a banana and crisp sandwich is completely unacceptable.

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