There were 441 million occasions of cod consumption during the past year

Most cod is eaten at the evening meal (66%), cod consumed at this time is growing by 7% year-on-year

Consumption peaks on a Friday, when 29% is eaten

Enjoyment accounts for 44% of all occasions and practicality accounts for 38%

A post-Christian society keeps Friday habit

In the latest year the consumption of cod has increased by 3%. The evening meal and teatime are driving this consumption of Britain's favourite white fish, with increases of 7% and 3% year on year respectively.

Cod consumption peaks strongly on a Friday emphasising the traditional nature of cod consumers. The 45s and over are most likely to consume cod. This age group is the most health conscious and therefore will view cod as fitting in with part of a health-preserving diet.

Health is growing as a driver behind cod consumption (up 10%) and continues to perform well by meeting consumers' health needs.

Potatoes are the principal food consumed with cod (84% of cod occasions feature potatoes).

Although chips account for the largest share of this consumption they are in decline (down 3% versus 2004), whereas boiled and mashed potatoes are increasingly being eaten with cod (rising 3% compared with 2004). This emphasises the impact that health is having on consumers.

Esther Cunningham