The UK consumed canned fish on 1.12 billion occasions in the past year - up 3.6% from the previous year

Total fish consumption is up by 3.2%, with fresh (+5.5%) and canned (+3.6%) driving the increase

Weekday lunchtimes are the heartland for consumers eating canned fish

Sandwiches account for more than half of canned

fish eaten

Health considerations motivate almost a third of canned fish meal occasions

Women eat more canned fish for health

Consumption of most canned fish species is increasing. Sardines (+8.9%), red salmon (+7.2%) and pilchards (+27.3%) have risen the most. Tuna, which accounts for two thirds of canned fish consumption, is up 3.6%.

While children account for a large share of consumption (17%), they eat the least compared with their total food intake. The over 65s and 25 to 34-year-old males are far more likely to eat canned fish compared with other foods.

However, the consumers driving the increase in consumption over the past year are women, with 17 to 44-year-olds increasing their consumption by more than 20% (this trend is particularly strong among 17-24 year olds who have increased their consumption by 32%).

The overall trend towards more foods being chosen for health reasons is driving the increase in canned fish consumption. Indeed, the number of occasions when canned fish is eaten because it is considered 'healthy' has grown by 13% in the last year.

Nick Bavin