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Global egg consumption has stayed strong throughout the economic recession and the start of the global economic recovery.

U.S. statistics for 2009 gave an illustration when they showed the domestic uptake in the USA rising by about 1% together with a 17.4% increase in export sales.

However, they also demonstrated that a trend in the demand for eggs is not necessarily reflected in the calculated average egg consumption per person per year. Despite the increase in volumes produced and sold in the USA, 2009 data suggested that the average number of eggs consumed per person per year had decreased, to 247.7 from 248.3 in 2008.

Adjusted data  

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A commentary on egg industry facts by the American Egg Board has warned that “per-capita consumption is a measure of total egg production divided by the total population, it does not represent demand.” It reported that the U.S. Department of Agriculture had adjusted data to reflect more recent census information on the size of the human population in the USA. This adjustment indicated an average of 251.7 eggs per person in 2000, rising to a peak of 258.1 eggs in 2006 before settling back to averages closer to 250 eggs.

Obviously there is always an influence of price on sales. The reported U.S. all-eggs average price in 2008 had been US$1.09 per dozen (12 eggs), which dropped in 2009 to 81.7 U.S. cents per dozen eggs. Chart 1 compares U.S. and German price trends for eggs.

Expressed in terms of the annual per-capita average consumption of eggs by weight, a figure of around 40 kg for the USA puts it in the Top 20 countries on current evidence, as the accompanying Table 1 demonstrates.

We have reported previously an assessment of world data by the International Egg Commission that said the average number of eggs eaten per person in 2007 had been highest in China at 349, ahead of Mexico at 345.

The nature of consumption is changing. In developed-economy countries the trend is to increase the uptake of processed egg products, whereas in developing-economy countries the tendency remains for improving incomes to raise the uptake of shell eggs.