A study into Pret and Greggs has revealed something remarkable about the country

A study into Pret and Greggs has revealed something remarkable about the country
Greggs closes for three days after squirrel infiltration

A study into the distribution of Greggs vs Pret A Manger stores has shown a North-South divide in the country.

Researchers from Sheffield Hallam University tested a theory that the anecdotal perception that the ratio of Pret to Greggs stores indicates whether a town can be considered northern or southern, with Prets being associated with the south and Greggs being linked to the north.

Turns out this theory was bang on.

The research model compared the geographical distribution of Greggs and Pret locations with Gross Domestic Household Income (GDHI) – mapped along two lines – and found that they matched “remarkably” well.

Titled “The greggs-pret index: a machine learning analysis of consumer habits as a metric for the socio-economic north- south divide in England”, the paper also “aims to highlight more serious factors highlighting the North-South divide, such as life expectancy, education, and poverty.”

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“The food we eat is a very good indicator of whether someone is northern or southern. Greggs is very popular in the north, where people do seem to prefer a steak bake,” said Dr Robin Smith, the physicist at Sheffield Hallam University who led on the new study.

“We are fascinated by the north-south divide, so it is good to have a way of working out where it starts.”

However, “Since Greggs produced the vegan sausage roll … it has become more popular in the south, so this might not be a marker of northernness for that much longer”, Dr Smith added.

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