The total number of eggs consumed in the U.K. in 2014 is estimated to have risen by 2 percent to stand at 11.76 billion, equivalent to per capita annual consumption of 184, reports the British Egg Industry Council.

Egg consumption in the U.K. declined from the 1960s through to the late 1990s, however since then it has been steadily rising. Among recent growth drivers has been the rising popularity of eggs among dieters, and with the end of confusion over the effect of eggs on cholesterol, eggs are now widely recommend in the U.K. as  part of a healthy diet and have been included in a number of established slimming plans.

The British Egg Industry Council says that industry estimates reveal that the country produced 9.76 billion eggs in 2014, exported 134 million, and imported 1.86 billion.

Fifty-three percent of eggs were sold to retail outlets, with 24 percent going to foodservice and 23 percent to food manufacturers.

By production type, 52 percent of came from hens kept in enriched cages, 45 percent came from free-range hens, while 3 percent of eggs came from hens kept in barns.

A figure for size of the country’s laying flock in 2014 is yet to be made available, however, in 2013, the U.K. laying flock stood at 33.5 million birds.