Struggling to meet shoppers’ preference for specialty eggs

Egg Citing Innovations

As cage-free eggs become the industry standard, there are other areas of innovation that grocers should be aware of.

One of the fastest growing egg segments is the herbal category. In addition to these products being perceived as more animal and planet friendly, more and more consumers are choosing plant-based products to improve their health. According to data from the Plant Based Foods Association, Good Food Institute and SPINS, the plant-based egg category grew rapidly in 2021, with a 42% increase in dollar sales. Over the past three years, sales of plant-based eggs have increased by more than 1,000%. Additionally, with conventional egg dollar sales down 4% in 2021, plant-based eggs have grown to account for nearly 0.6% of the total egg market, down from 0.05% a year ago. three years, making plant-based eggs an engine of growth. of the category.

Even celebrities are taking advantage of this egg trend. Eat Just’s plant-based Just Egg product has two new celebrity investors: movie star Jake Gyllenhaal and tennis legend Serena Williams. The pair are featured in the San Francisco-based company’s satire-rich campaign, ‘Really Good Eggs’, eating Just Egg as part of their healthy lifestyle. The campaign claims that Just Egg is healthier than conventional eggs, having no cholesterol and 69% less saturated fat.

Evo Food, a CPG company operating in the United States and India, uses science to create the next generation of plant-based substitutes for animal products. With growing consumer demand for animal-free food alternatives, the company has partnered with Boston-based Ginkgo Bioworks, which offers a horizontal platform for cell programming, to develop a method of producing protein from animal-free egg for use in Evo’s products, which recently premiered in the United States in San Francisco on April 27.

“As consumers and food brands demand more sustainable food options, we are excited to partner with Ginkgo to launch a new class of animal-free ingredients, said Kartik Dixit, CEO of Mumbai-based Evo Foods. “Evo is committed to playing a role in powering our ever-growing world, and this partnership will support us as we develop next-generation products in this market.”

Meanwhile, a recent evaluation process by the Good Housekeeping Institute’s Nutrition Laboratory verified the superior nutrition of Eggland’s Best shell eggs, earning them the Good Housekeeping Nutritionist Approved emblem. This designation was created to help consumers lead healthier lives by enabling them to make informed food choices.

Compared to conventional eggs, Eggland’s Best eggs contain six times the vitamin D, 10 times the vitamin E, 25% less saturated fat, more than double the omega-3s and more than double the vitamin B12. The Cedar Knolls, New Jersey-based company attributes this to its hens’ high-quality, all-vegetarian diet, which contains healthy grains, canola oil and a healthy supplement of rice bran, alfalfa, kelp and vitamin E.

As for new product lines, Chicago-based Dutch Farms launched its largest specialty egg line expansion earlier this year. The company now offers its retail partners 12 specialty egg items: Non-GMO Large, Large, Pasture Raised Organic, Free Range Organic Large, Cage Free Vegetarian Fed, Pasture Raised Large, Organic Large , Organic Large 18-Pack, Organic Medium, Organic Medium 18-Pack, Cage-Free Large Pulp and Plastic, and Cage-Free Jumbo.

Dutch Farms has partnerships with small local family farms that keep hens free to roam and nest, and allow outdoor access, and even some that allow hens to forage for wild plants and food. Dutch Farms offers specialty eggs from birds fed on diets also designed to increase the nutritional content of eggs.

At Vital Farms, the company added more color to its egg cartons. True Blues, a specialty line of pasture-raised ancient blue eggs, has been available at Whole Foods Market stores since April. The line features a dozen certified cruelty-free all-blue eggs, produced to the same animal welfare standards that Vital Farms is known for.

Vital Farms True Blues eggs are produced by ancient breeds of hens, including Azur hens, which generate a unique pigment that causes them to lay naturally blue eggs. As with all Vital Farms egg products, the hens are raised on pasture by family farmers who give them year-round outdoor access—at least 108 square feet of pasture to roam and feed on—and maintain land that is pest-free. herbicides or pesticides.

“People are looking for new ways to bring something new to their daily lives, and egg staples are no exception,” says Heather Mace, director of brand management at Vital Farms.