Study says people in Middlesbrough work 65% longer than those in London to buy Greggs sausage roll

A Greggs sausage roll index, which calculates how long it takes for someone to afford the item shows regional inequalities Credit: PA Images

People in Middlesbrough have to work for one of the longest amounts of time before they can afford a Greggs sausage roll, according to research.

A new sausage roll index has been created to measure how long it takes someone to work, in order to afford the pastry.

The research, by economist John Hawksworth, looked at 100 towns, and found Greggs customers in Middlesbrough had to work for around 4:48 minutes, topped only by Lichfield in Staffordshire where people had to work for 4:54 minutes.

That's compared to people in London who earned their sausage rolls in just 2:58 minutes.

John Hawksworth said: “In part the analysis is a bit of fun with the sausage roll standing in for the Big Mac as a standardised product to compare purchasing power across different places.

"But it does also make the serious point that there are very large variations in income levels across our towns and cities."

The price of a sausage roll averages £1.05, but the amount of time if takes a worker to afford that varies across the country. Credit: PA Images

The top 20 places where people have to work the longest to afford a sausage roll:

  • Lichfield

  • Middlesbrough

  • Nuneaton

  • Truro

  • Hereford

  • Mansfield

  • Hastings

  • Cantebury

  • Doncaster

  • Chesterfield

  • Rochdale

  • Gateshead

  • Sunderland

  • Wigan

  • Durham

  • Carlisle

  • Barnsley

  • Newport

  • Wolverhampton

  • Oldham

  • Rotherham

Other areas in our region include Stockton-on-Tees which came in at 63rd position, Hartlepool in 55th, and Darlington at 53. York was the Tyne Tees area which can afford a sausage rolls the fastest, coming in position 21.

It is the first time the Greggs sausage roll has been used to measure the cost of living across the country. It was based on the Economist magazine's Big Mac Index, which has been published since 1986.

The Greggs sausage roll, which is sold about 2.5million times a week, was selected to measure the cost of living due to its standardised nature in outlets across the country; with the item typically costing £1.05.

It was calculated by using the price of sausage roll prices and the median hourly pay of each area as estimated by the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

The final league table is based on the amount of time a typical full-time employee doing 30 hours a week has to work to afford the sausage roll.

According to the index, commissioned by Investing Reviews, Newcastle, where Greggs was established more than 70 years ago came 30th in the table, with Geordies working on average 3:46 minutes in order to pay for the local delicacy.

This is compared to people in London who earned their sausage rolls in the the fastest amount of time in just 2:58 minutes.

People have already been told by Greggs that prices of the product are likely to increase, meaning people will have to work harder for the treat.