• In the last year there were 36.9 million occasions of mackerel consumption. This is 1.2% of the overall chilled and frozen fish market and an increase of 7.6% on last year.

  • Some 60% of mackerel is consumed in the evening, with strong growth here.

  • The evening meal is the fastest-growing meal occasion and has seen growth of 29% over the past year.

Healthy eating is the key driver of consumption
Adults aged 45+ are core mackerel consumers, accounting for over 60% of all mackerel meal occasions.

Females aged 45+ account for over a third of consumption, whilst males aged 45+ are the second-largest group at 26%.

The increase in consumption has been driven by adults aged 35+. Health is one of the key reasons driving their consumption, as the older consumers get, the more concerned they are with eating healthy foods.

The consumer considers mackerel a healthy fish, over-indexing on the health need state when compared to total fish consumption.

Mackerel provides a practical meal solution for an age of convenience. Just over a third of mackerel is eaten cold and when it is prepared, it is more likely to be grilled or toasted. Nearly half of all mackerel forms part of a meal taking less than 20 minutes to prepare.

Most consumption takes place at the main meal occasions, with major growth at teatime (32%) and the evening meal (28.8%).

To increase consumption further, mackerel needs to be associated with other convenient foods such as sandwiches and pasta to inspire the consumer to eat it more frequently.

Richard Orr, TNS
Produced for The Grocer by TNS.

Year to May 2004. For more information call 01372 825770. Next week: eggs