685 million meals featured strawberries last year The strawberry grocery market is worth £350m a year and grew 8% in the 52 weeks to November Over 55% of strawberries are eaten by the over 45s As many are eaten for health reasons as for enjoyment 30% of strawberries are eaten at the weekend Strawberries hit the breakfast table Strawberries and cream is not such a summer staple as you might think, new data on consumption shows. The fruit is more likely to be eaten with ice cream (17%), while only 15% are eaten with cream, 12% with yoghurt and 1% with custard. The biggest strawberry eaters are the over-45s and children under the age of five. Children eat them because of their sweet taste, while older people like them because they are low in fat, high in fibre and high in vitamin C. Enjoyment is still an important spur to strawberry consumption, though. The evening meal - seen as the most indulgent of the day - accounts for more than 40% of occasions. But breakfast is the fastest-growing meal occasion as strawberries have become part of a 'healthy start to the day' for some consumers. Manufacturers have encouraged this by including strawberries in some lines. Strawberry consumption is split largely between indulgence and health but they are not a practical choice and are mainly eaten at home. The success of fresh fruit packs within impulse channels and health issues suggests there could be an opportunity for healthily-indulgent strawberry-based snacks outside the home. Drummond Richards