There were 2.8 billion occasions where eggs were eaten last year, down 4% year on year

40% of eggs are eaten at breakfast

38% of eggs are eaten at the weekend, compared with 29% of foods in general

15% of eggs are eaten because they are quick to cook and 13% are eaten for a change (vs 7% of total foods)

Adults over 45+ account for more than 50% of eggs eaten

A fry up is still on the breakfast menu

Forty per cent of eggs are eaten at breakfast. They are eaten with toast (48%), bacon (39%) and sausages (16%), which suggests a traditional fry up is still a key meal. However, the number of eggs eaten at breakfast has declined by 6% since last year, perhaps because hot cereal, fruit and yoghurts have increased their share of the breakfast meal time.

The 45+ age group accounts for more than half the eggs consumed but its consumption has fallen by 5%. Children aged 0-5 have increased their consumption by 11%. This growth suggests mothers are making more effort to prepare meals for their children.

The evening meal, accounting for 24% of meals, hasn't been affected by overall declines. The number of 17-24 year-olds eating eggs for an evening meal have increased by 5%.

Key reasons for eating eggs is speed of cooking (15%) and for a change (13%). Frying is the most common method (45%) followed by boiling (32%).

Laura Wilson