Fish cakes or fishfingers were eaten on 410 million occasions last year, virtually unchanged from 2005

40% of fishfingers and fish cakes were eaten by children

Fishfingers are three times more popular than fish cakes

Children eat most fishfinger meals

Children are the key consumers of fish cakes and fishfingers, eating almost 40% of them last year. Adult men and women account for around 30% each, with women eating slightly more than men. Children aged 0-5 consume 70 million fishfinger or fish cake meals. Fishfingers are consistently eaten more than fish cakes across all age ranges, except among the over-65s. Indeed, fish cakes have a distinctly older appeal, with over-45s eating 45% of all fish cakes. Fishfingers were launched just over 50 years ago and have not been embraced by older groups, who prefer to stick to the traditional fish cake.

Half of all fish cakes and fishfingers are eaten at the evening meal. However, they are 50% more likely to be eaten at teatime than total fish, and more than twice as likely to be eaten for tea than total foods. This is because the key teatime consumers are children. Fishfingers are quick and easy to prepare and popular with children.

Baking and grilling are the top two preparation methods for fish cakes and fishfingers. Consumption seems to be shifting to earlier in the week, with half of all fishfinger and fish cake meals eaten from Monday to Wednesday.

Drummond Richards