There were 543 million dried fruit occasions last year. This is in growth by 3% vs last year

Females 45+ account for over 40% of consumption

52% is consumed at breakfast

49% is consumed with cereals and 43% with tea

Health is a key driver - 59% is consumed for this reason

Dried fruit loses its grip on breakfast time

Females aged 45+ are key consumers of dried fruit, eating 41%. Children aged up to five account for 10% while males aged 45 and over account for 25%.

Most dried fruit (52%) is eaten at breakfast, but while the other mealtimes are in considerable growth, this occasion is down 6%. However, in-home snacking, which accounts for 17% and lunchbox, which accounts for 10%, are both in strong growth (31% and 15% respectively).

Fruit has capitalised on the growth of healthy snacking in recent years and dried fruit has also gained from this trend.

The decline in the breakfast occasion can be linked to children's overall consumption of dried fruit falling year-on-year by 10%. This might be because there is an increased presence of dried fruit in ready-to-eat cereals, muesli etc, so there is no need to add extra fruit to them.

The lunchbox is a growing opportunity for dried fruit. The recent government legislation on foods high in fat and salt in schools is likely to have a positive impact on the fruit and dried fruit market.

Laura Wilson