Per capita egg consumption in the U.S. was estimated to be 4.6 eggs higher in 2014 than it was in 2013, up to 263.4 eggs, the highest level in 30 years, according to USDA Economic Research Service data. It is estimated that per capita shell egg consumption actually fell by three-tenths of an egg from 2013 to 2014, so all of the increase was the result of a 4.9 egg per capita increase in egg products consumption.
I have written about the large amount of media attention garnered by Beyond Eggs, a plant-based egg substitute. Tech reporters just couldn’t say enough about this vegan egg product alternative that was backed by Bill Gates and PayPal cofounder Peter Thiel. But, it appears that the advertising and promotional efforts of the American Egg Board have been successful in helping to maintain the market for egg products in the U.S. where per capita consumption of egg products increased by 6.5 percent in 2014 over 2013.
This increase in egg products consumption in the U.S. took place during a time of record high prices for many egg products, which was driven largely by the egg white craze in quick-service restaurants like McDonald’s. Over the long haul, the real battleground for egg replacers will take place in baked goods and prepared foods. Egg marketers are betting that the unique taste and functional properties of eggs will continue to win the day and keep real egg products in the prepared foods, ice cream, pasta and bakery items that consumers purchase. If so, the percent of total egg production in the U.S. that goes into egg products will continue to increase.