U.S. marketing organization American Egg Board (AEB) launched the Eggcelerator Lab, an innovation center for the egg industry that is designed to bring new egg-based ideas to market, on October 12, 2022.
The Eggcelerator Lab contains resources and partnerships with businesses, such as food innovation company CuliNEX, that will help its clients develop culinary egg-based ideas and products. The network that clients will have access to includes manufacturers, suppliers, university researchers and subject matter experts.
Currently, the Eggcelerator Lab is executing pilot projects across industries such as consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturers and restaurant chains. The lab is testing multiple concepts that show new uses for eggs and egg ingredients, as well as new ways to consume eggs.
“The Eggcelerator Lab is aligned with the American Egg Board’s mission to drive demand for U.S. eggs and egg products, while unlocking new potential value for customers and serving ever-changing consumer needs and desires,” said Emily Metz, AEB President and CEO. “It’s exciting. The Eggcelerator Lab will put more eggs in front of more people in new ways and will increase opportunities and the size of the market for America’s egg farmers.”
The projects the lab is working on include on-the-go hot breakfast ideas, such as sandwiches or breakfast bowls, and looking at how to produce grab-and-go pre-cooked eggs with runny yolks. Additionally, the lab is researching new ways to use existing technology to create egg ingredients and new ways to cook eggs.
Andy Johnson, West Liberty Foods Vice President of Foodservice Sales and Marketing, stated: “We had a single objective: to develop a breakfast sandwich for a major national retail chain. Rather than having a narrow focus from the start, the American Egg Board’s Eggcelerator Lab team pushed us to look holistically at the entire breakfast category — hot savory sandwiches, wraps, upscale sandwiches, and more.”
“This approach was hugely beneficial and validated our focus. The Lab’s process proved effective and efficient from a supplier standpoint.”
Additionally, the Eggcelerator Lab’s clients will have access to a four-part innovation process titled O.V.V.O. (Opportunity, Visualize, Validate, Operationalize) that contains over 250 new egg-based product recipes and ideas that are supported by research.
Nate Hedtke, AEB Vice President of Insights and Innovation, added, “The value we bring to clients starts with our emphasis on whitespace discovery where we identify market opportunities — what’s happening and how clients can take advantage of current food trends, from integrating eggs into plant-based foods to leveraging grab-and-go protein-based food options.”