are phrases that have been
increasingly driving the fresh egg category; “cage-free”
and “omega-;” claims will no longer cut it for the growing
number of consumers concerned with animal welfare.
Matthew Sherman, CMO of Handsome Brook Farm,
Franklin, N. Y., says that while conventional egg pricing
has rebounded from the lows of last year, the category
is still losing volume to humanely raised eggs. There
will likely always be a market for cheap eggs, he says,
but “the middle is going to continue to struggle as
consumers either prioritize price or quality.”
Additionally, as information on eggs becomes more
widely available and viral international cooking videos
display dark orange yolks, consumers are starting to look
for this quality in American eggs as they realize chickens
fed with grain and corn tend to yield lighter colors.
While humanely raised eggs are currently in the
commodity realm, retailers continue to ;ock to the
cage-free segment, including Kroger, Walmart,
Albertsons and Fresh Thyme Farmers Market, which
are all working toward exclusively cage-free o;erings.
Pourable and already peeled eggs—as well as snack
packs that include eggs—have been a welcome addition
to grocery shelves as the demand for convenience grows
stronger. Also, retailers that o;er these products have
been moving them into the organic, cage-free and free-range space.
Cincinnati-based The Kroger Co., for example, has
championed this category in its own Simple Truth
Organic brand with o;erings such as free-range peeled
and ready-to-eat hard-boiled eggs, free-range ;;;;
egg whites and cage-free whole liquid eggs.
Last spring, Boise-based Albertsons expanded its
commitment to o;er only cage-free eggs by ;;;; to
include liquid eggs. It also carries innovative products
such as Sauder’s Eggs’ pickled hard-boiled eggs in
;avors such as Bu;alo and red beet.
Protein-laden snack packs that
include ready-to-eat eggs
have also been popping up
in the refrigerated section.
These include a hard-boiled
egg alongside other healthy
items such as cheese, chocolate
The demand for quick, protein-rich breakfasts is a key
opportunity in the freezer aisle, and manufacturers are
getting more creative with egg-based options.
Andrew Reichgut, EVP of Avenel, N.J.-based Garden
Lites, which includes veggie frittatas among its product
o;erings, says that while consumers are moving toward
plant-based proteins, they don’t tend to consider eggs a
“meat protein”; therefore, demand remains high. “With
eggs not being bucketed into this group, they are the
perfect solution for the freezer section,” he says.
Also, eggs are going beyond breakfast, according
to WGB sister research ;rm Technomic, and ;;; of
consumers are likely to eat eggs for either lunch or dinner.
However, breakfast is still the most popular occasion at
;;;, potentially giving value-add frozen egg items such
as bowls and burritos a boost.
Eggs are also a favorite
of those on the paleo diet.
Marketing frozen eggs to
this category of consumer by
marking the items with a special
paleo callout could draw them
to quick, healthy frozen meal
solutions that ;t their lifestyle.
While eggs are often considered an exception to meat-based products, veganism is also on the rise. Similar to
how items such as plant-based Impossible
Meat have been exploding across both
the grocery and restaurant channels,
egglike products are making their way
into the limelight with o;erings such as
Just Egg, which is made with mung beans.
It was chosen by WGB’s Meg Major as
her November ;;;; Editors’ Elites top
new product, declaring it “looks and
scrambles eggs-actly like its conventional
Just Egg is currently entering the retail
market, where it will meet competitors
such as VeganEgg, made with ingredients
such as algal ;our and soymilk powder,
and the Neat Egg, derived from garbanzo
beans and chia seeds.
For vegans less enthusiastic about imitation eggs,
tofu scrambles have become a popular substitute, which
hints at an opportunity for cross-merchandising among
other breakfast o;erings and is even popping up in the
Fridge & Frozen Center Store