Unconventional choices are topping the list for Easter Sunday lunch

“Many shoppers are evolving their Easter food traditions and looking for new ways to enjoy the bank holiday”  (Amira Arasteh)
“Many shoppers are evolving their Easter food traditions and looking for new ways to enjoy the bank holiday” (Amira Arasteh)

A poll of 2,000 adults who mark the holiday found that, while a roast still comes out on top for the majority (51 per cent), shepherd’s pie, steak and salad are also giving lamb a run for its money.

Seven in 10 of those who celebrate Easter are set to enjoy something other than a lamb roast this year - with two thirds unaware it’s considered a tradition.

Lamb is typically eaten to celebrate Easter, where historically Christians chose the meat to commemorate Jesus.

It also emerged that although 67 per cent are likely to mark the occasion with a family meal, activities such as going to the pub, going shopping or having a movie marathon are also high on the agenda over the bank holiday period.

Men are also twice as likely as women to enjoy sporting events, the gym or even a trip abroad during their Easter break.

This comes despite 77 per cent claiming they stick to tradition when celebrating cultural holidays, according to the research commissioned by Sainsbury’s.

Of those who do sit down to a roast, 31 per cent still tuck into traditional lamb while a quarter opt for chicken, with beef and turkey also coming out popular.

Many elevate their Easter roast with Christmas classics like stuffing (28 per cent) and pigs in blankets (16 per cent), although classic roast potatoes (59 per cent) come out on top as the favourite side dish.

Showing their experimental side, a quarter of 18–24-year-olds choose hot sauce (26 per cent) or BBQ sauce (25 per cent) to garnish their roast.

More than a fifth enjoy baked beans (23 per cent), bread (22 per cent) or even black pudding (20 per cent) on the side.

Dr Amna Khan, consumer behaviour expert, said: “Many shoppers are evolving their Easter food traditions and looking for new ways to enjoy the bank holiday.

“While most are adding their own spin to classic dishes, some are reinventing Easter norms altogether and, as a result, new food trends are emerging.

“The younger Gen Z consumer is more experimental than older generations, combining modern and traditional foods to create unique and personalised food experiences that satisfy their tastes and create joy for them.”

Regardless of meal preference, food plays a big part, with 77 per cent agreeing it adds joy to Easter celebrations.

Furthermore, seven in 10 have either hosted the celebration for friends and family in the past or want to in the future, according to the [OnePoll.com] figures.

Historically, Easter hosts have spent an average of £63 in the past, yet over half (51 per cent) celebrating the holiday are looking for ways to save money due to the cost-of-living crisis.

Dr Amna Khan added: “The cost-of-living crisis is forcing us to get creative with our spending to ensure we can still make holidays like Easter special to give ourselves a lift.

“Celebrating Easter with friends and family whilst enjoying food is the perfect occasion for many people across the country.

“Lots of consumers will be making savvy food choices, trading down for cheaper alternatives, or simply replacing the food choice with a completely different option.”

Mark Given, chief marketing officer at Sainsbury’s said: “Easter is one of the biggest calendar moments, and whilst customers are looking forward to celebrating, it is evident that they are looking for ways to save money this year.

“This research really highlights that we all have our own traditions, and this Easter we want to help customers make the most of the celebrations whether you like lamb, beef or pizza, prefer hot or BBQ sauce - and even if you want to top your roast with baked beans.”

Top 10 meals people are having this Easter:

1. Roast dinner

2. Steak

3. Pizza

4. Salad

5. Fish and chips

6. Salmon

7. BBQ

8. Breaded chicken

9. Shepherd’s pie

10. Fish pie