Cheesecake has been named the nation’s favourite dessert, according to research carried out by Tate & Lyle Sugars.

While 42% of people chose cheesecake, fruit crumble and ice cream were also popular choices, coming in second and third place respectively.

The survey of more than 2,000 consumers found wide variation across the country, with people in the north east of England choosing chocolate cake as their favourite dessert while those in the east of England preferred fruit crumble.

Other findings included that six in 10 consumers preferred desserts to starters and that 63% liked a variety of dessert toppings available when eating out. 54% were found to want a wide variety of dessert options and being able to try innovative dishes were key factors in tempting them to buy a dessert and 30% of 35- to 44-years-olds said they had chosen to go to a restaurant because of its reputation for desserts.

In terms of price, 45% thought £4-£6 was the right bracket for a dessert but 22% of people in the north east were willing to pay over £10.

Fraser Chynoweth, foodservice sales director at Tate & Lyle Sugars, said: “With the UK foodservice sector forecast to grow by £10bn to £56.3bn by 2019, a well-balanced dessert menu, which includes the nation’s favourite desserts, is one way outlets can increase the amount customers spend with them.

“The versatility of Lyle’s Golden Syrup means that not only is it ideal for creating a number of traditional British desserts, such as treacle tart and sticky toffee pudding, but it can also be the secret ingredient in cheesecake – the nation’s favourite – and used as a topping to accompany desserts.”