Peppers were eaten on 800 million occasions during the past year Adults aged 45 to 64 eat a third of all peppers Health is the key driver, accounting for about 45% of consumption Peppers a popular choice for any meal Growth in pepper consumption is being driven by younger adults, who have raised consumption by 36% year-on-year. However, peppers are still most likely to be eaten by people in the 45 to 64 age group. Only children have failed to raise their consumption levels, signalling a growth opportunity for peppers to be included as part of a healthy diet. More than two-thirds of peppers are eaten as part of the evening meal - 8% more than last year. The versatility of the vegetable means it can be used in salads or cooked meals, including pasta, rice, noodles and baked potatoes. They are also well-placed to be used in more exotic dishes. Peppers are mainly eaten for health but they are also chosen because they complement other foods. Most peppers are eaten at the start of the week when many shoppers buy fresh produce that has to be eaten within a few days. Consumers also tend to have better intentions towards the start of the week. However, trends indicate that pepper consumption is increasing at weekends, highlighting their usage in meals when consumers are entertaining. Rory Partis