1.7 billion meals included sausages last year Adult men are key to sausage consumption, eating 40% of all sausages compared with 35% of total foods Two out of every five sausages are grilled 29% are eaten because they are a "favourite" Sausages become sophisticated treat The premiumisation of sausages is being reflected in sales up 3% to £533m on volume sales down 2.4% to 178,000 tonnes. Average pack price is up 7.5% while household penetration has slipped one percentage point to 87.5% Sausages appeal to all age groups but adult men under 65 and children eat the most. People over 65 are least likely to eat them and account for only 15% of the market because of greater awareness of health by this age group. Although they are eaten throughout the day, sausages feature most frequently in evening meals, which account for 46% of total consumption. Breakfast, lunch and teatime each account for up to 18% of sausage consumption. Their convenient nature contributes to them being more likely to be consumed at teatime and the evening meal. Consumption is steady through the week but 35% are eaten at the weekend, mainly in traditional English breakfasts. More are also being eaten during social occasions such as barbecues. The most common method of preparation is grilling, followed by oven cooking and frying. Only 2% of sausages cooked are microwaved but this method of preparation is becoming increasingly popular with 15.9% growth year-on-year. Lauratu Osu