There were 38 million meal occasions for chilled mackerel last year and there has been no change year-on-year. Ninety-five per cent of mackerel consumption is by adults. Unlike total fish, the majority of mackerel is not eaten on a Friday. Health is driving consumption of mackerel, which is usually eaten with healthy veg Strong health credentials drive mackerel Mackerel does not have much of a following among young consumers, TNS data reveals. Consumption of the fish is concentrated among adults, with just 5% of its 38 million meal appearances taking place on children's plates. Instead, consumption is driven by the 65-plus age group, which gets through 38% of the mackerel eaten in the UK - much more than its share of chilled fish as a whole. Although fish consumption still peaks for the traditional Friday meal, this is not the case with chilled mackerel, which takes an even share of consumption between Monday and Saturday. This is because of its health credentials. It is an excellent source of several important nutrients, including Omega-3, and nearly half is eaten for health reasons - more than for total chilled fish. Chilled mackerel is also likely to be eaten with salad (on 46% of occasions) and vegetables (again 46%), further highlighting the health factor behind consumption. The evening meal still accounts for the majority of chilled mackerel eaten (54%). But it should be noted that the older profile of consumers means it is often eaten at home for lunch or as a light meal, featuring as a healthy option with salad. Gareth Shaw