There were 3.2 billion meals featuring apples last year

More than 46% of apples are eaten by the 45+

More than 70% of apples are eaten for health reasons

82% of apples are eaten during the week

Spending is up 5% to £691m [52 w/e 12 August]

A healthy and convenient snack

It's been a good year for apples. Consumption is up 4% driven by a rise in consumption among children. Parents are taking more control over their children's diets and encouraging healthy eating.

However, the top consumers are still the over-45 age group, who eat almost half of all the apples sold. This age group eats a lot of fruit overall relative to their total food consumption. Children under the age of 10 also eat a relatively large number of apples. Consumption of fruit is lowest among 17-24s but apples over-index compared with total fruit with these consumers.

Some 71% of apples are eaten for health reasons. The fruit is also commonly eaten because it is a 'favourite'. Apples are a good source of vitamin C along with other antioxidants, and are also a source of fibre.

Nearly two-thirds of apples are eaten in the home, and on a further billion occasions they form part of people's lunchboxes, a growth of 7% compared with last year. Consumption of apples in home snacks accounts for 34% of all occasions. Most apples are eaten on weekdays, particularly Monday and Tuesday, where health is of key importance after the 'indulgent' weekend.

Gareth Shaw