LONDON, March 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Research reveals reserved Brits give strangers the
cold shoulder on park benches
Conversation-shy Brits would rather pack up and go if they are joined on a park bench by a stranger, research has revealed.
The fascinating study into our habits has revealed an unsociable streak when it comes to sharing a public space when having lunch or reading a book.
The nation is home to millions of park benches but sitting down unleashes territorial feelings and a staggering 41% of us admit we would leave within five minutes if someone sat down next to us.
And 50% will only sit down on a public bench if it was totally free, according to the research commissioned by Kingsmill as part of the Lunch Spots campaign designed to find the UK's top 10 favourite places to eat lunch.
"We appear to have a distant attitude when choosing a park bench to sit on for either a relaxing half-hour or eating lunch," said a Kingsmill spokesperson. "The park bench is part of our culture yet it stirs some very powerful emotions."
"Once we sit down, it seems that bench is ours and anyone who tries to share it can be seen as an invader. That feeling is very strong for some people even if the other person sits at the end of the bench and doesn't say a word."
Over a third of the nation (32%) would never start a conversation with someone else on a park bench, preferring to stay silent, with only 6% admitting they may attempt some small talk. Women, normally considered the more talkative gender, are cutting back their chat with 35% unwilling to break the ice with fellow park bench residents, compared with just 23% of men. In fact 46% of the British public normally visit a park bench by themselves rather than with friends (11%).
Nearly one in four (35%) would leave their park bench immediately if a 'noisy' group of people stood nearby. Interestingly, 50% of respondents said they would only sit on a park bench with someone else on it if they had to.
Jon Wilson, Allied Bakeries Marketing Director says "We know that people love to eat their lunch outside, which is why we've launched this campaign - we can't wait to find out the UK's top 10 Lunch Spots."
"The top 10 winners will have a park bench placed there to celebrate its achievement, but sadly we can't guarantee that only one person at a time will be able to sit on it! However we're sure that our new park benches situated in these Lunch Spots will hopefully encourage more people to spark up a conversation!"
Notes to Editors
* Online interviews carried out by Redshift Research with a randomly selected, nationally representative sample of UK adults. 2,000 interviews were conducted in February 2013 using an email invitation and an online survey
The Kingsmill Lunch Spots campaign, in partnership with national UK tourist boards such as VisitEngland and Visit Wales, is encouraging everyone to nominate their favourite Lunch Spot in the UK, whether it's a peaceful park, a place by the sea or a shady glade. Everyone needs to visit http://www.facebook.com/kingsmill from Monday 18th March to submit their nomination to be in with a chance of winning £1500 worth of UK holiday vouchers.
Kingsmill ambassador and dad-of-two Jeff Brazier will act as spokesperson for the campaign, calling on consumers to go to the Kingsmill Facebook page to get involved; simply place a pin on the map, and tell us why you love that location to make your nomination.
Once all the nominations have been received, a panel of judges made up of representatives from the tourist boards and Kingsmill, will compile a shortlist of the top 25 locations where the public can then vote for their favourite to make up the top ten. Each location featured in the top 10 will be awarded a Kingsmill Lunch Spots plaque and bench to celebrate their status as one of the UK's best Lunch Spots.
About Allied Bakeries
- Allied Bakeries - http://www.alliedbakeries.co.uk - is the number two supplier of branded plant (wrapped, sliced) bread in the UK. Its parent company is FTSE 100 Associated British Foods plc. Allied Bakeries has four key bakery brands in its portfolio: Kingsmill, Allinson, Burgen and Sunblest. Kingsmill is among the UK's top 10 grocery brands.
- Allied Bakeries' eleven sites and eight depots deliver bread and bakery goods direct to stores across the UK, ensuring the freshest possible product is received whilst maintaining industry leading customer service levels which average at around 99%.