• In the last year there were 149.9 million prawn meal occasions

  • Saturday is the key consumption day for prawns

  • 54% of prawns are eaten at the evening meal, 26% at lunch

  • 43% of prawns are eaten cold. Stir-frying is the most popular hot preparation method, making up 11% of total consumption
Prawns, the ready meal for the cash-rich, time-poorOver the last three years, chilled prawns have increased their number of occasions from 37 million per annum to 46 million. The frozen format has fallen from 149 million occasions to 119 million, but is still the much bigger variant.

Prawns are more likely to be consumed than other foods when adults only are present at the meal occasion (80% vs 72%) and are slightly more biased to one and two-person eating occasions.

Half of what we eat is done so on our own, and prawns and prawn-based foods (prawn salad, prawn curry) seem to be becoming the not-quite-ready ready meal for singletons.

Fish has a reputation for being healthy, yet prawns under-index on this need. Only 11% of prawns are consumed for health reasons vs 18% of total foods.

Prawns are, however, seen as a special treat (20% vs 7%) and are also eaten for a change (19% vs 8%).

These points are particularly relevant considering the fact that the cash-rich/time-poor consumers over-index in prawn consumption versus total fish and total foods across all age breaks for both males and females.

These consumers are very much into convenience but are also interested in enjoying food and experimenting.

Matthew Ferguson, TNS
Produced for The Grocer by TNS.

Year to May 2004. For more information call 01372 825770. Next week: melons