August 17, 2021
Young van drivers today are more health-conscious than ever before, new survey finds.
The survey of 250 UK van drivers discovered that fewer than 20 per cent of young van drivers (aged 18-24) choose a fry up for breakfast, with the majority opting instead for healthier options, like breakfast bars, smoothies, and fruit.
Overall, only 26 per cent of van drivers today consume a full English while on the road. Surprisingly, just 4 per cent of van drivers skip breakfast entirely.
Paul Cox, sales director for Vansdirect, who commissioned the survey, said, “We’ve long assumed van drivers are the bastions of fry up culture, but that is looking increasingly not to be the case.
“Health-conscious van drivers are rising through the ranks and undoing a lot of what longer-serving drivers – who are more likely still to choose a fry up or a bacon sandwich – have been associated with over the years.
“For younger van drivers, this means prioritising a nourishing, but convenient, breakfast before a long day of battling traffic and door-to-door deliveries.
“We looked at this data in 2021 in particular as it is predicted that more than 350,000 vans (SMMT) will join our roads this year. In turn, more young van drivers than ever are joining the sector – and will soon dictate how van driver culture looks in the future.”
Bacon and sausage sandwiches aren’t completely off the menu in 2021, however, with 45 per cent of respondents aged 18-24 choosing this van driver staple.
The same amount would also quite happily opt for toast or a yogurt instead of a bacon or sausage bap, suggesting younger van drivers are now looking towards healthier options alongside their fried favourites.
In fact, over 80 per cent of all van drivers surveyed said they would like to eat more healthily on the road.
Below is the average van driver diet in 2021, split by age group:
18–24-year-old van drivers’ typical daily diet
Breakfast: Breakfast bar or smoothie
Lunch: Meal deal
Snack: Breakfast bar
25-34-year-old van drivers’ typical daily diet
Breakfast: Breakfast bar or bacon bap
35-44-year-old van drivers’ typical daily diet
Breakfast: Bacon bap or fruit
45-54-year-old van drivers’ typical daily diet
Breakfast: Bacon bap or porridge
55+ van drivers’ typical daily diet
Breakfast: Toast or fruit
Snack: No snacks
Snacks were a particular sore point for drivers, with more than half of respondents saying they would like to snack on fruit instead (44 per cent). Furthermore, 43 per cent said they would prefer to eat at regular intervals to keep snack temptations at bay, while 33 per cent said they would simply like to snack less.
Paul Cox added, “Struggling to eat more healthily is a common concern for many van drivers today, especially as the job entails spending a significant amount of time in a stationary position.
“Perhaps if convenient outlets, like petrol stations or roadside cafes, offered more fruit, breakfast bars, or smoothies at affordable prices, the health of our ever-increasing van driving nation could improve – and more would feel satisfied with their lifestyle.”
Convenience (54 per cent) and cutlery-free items (42 per cent) are the main influences for van drivers’ eating habits, both of which come before taste.
Sandwiches and crisps are the run-away most popular lunchtime choices, chosen by 64 per cent and 56 per cent of van drivers, respectively.
As for other lunchtime staples, 44 per cent said they would eat a burger for lunch, while 33 per cent prefer a wrap.
All age groups apart from those aged 55+ reported snacking frequently, with these older van drivers opting not to snack at all.
Collectively, the survey found British van drivers typically consume 558.61 calories for breakfast, 693.54 calories at lunch, and 255.89 calories as snacks, coming to a total of 1,508.04 calories consumed on a typical 6-8 hour shift.