The British banger is back and better than ever, according to Mintel. The company has found that the sausage, once the preserve of greasy fry-ups and indeterminate animal parts, is now fashionable and up-market. According to Mintel, this year the British will consume approximately 189,000 tonnes of sausages, the equivalent of 140 chipolatas for each member of the population. This represents a 17% increase since 2000. Moreover, Mintel found that the sausage’s market value has risen by 23% over the past five years. The sausage market is expected to be £530m in 2005, with 43% of respondents saying they always buy sausages and bacon where possible. The sausage’s new sizzle is primarily the result of a new premium product perception, as banger brands have chosen such fillings as pork and apple, duck and orange, even Thai flavourings featuring lemon grass. This has added a touch of the exotic to "caff" favourites like toad in the hole and bangers and mash, the latter now a regular dish at celebrity hangout The Ivy. David Bird, consumer specialist at Mintel, said: "Although not an obvious food to have benefited from an increasingly prosperous UK population, sausages have seen a notable shift towards more premium positioning. "Indeed, manufacturers today are reinventing sausages as posh nosh with quality-led production, after the association with mechanically recovered meat and cheap fillers tarnished the perception of this humble British staple."