Changing diets, lower costs boost global egg consumption

Consumers' changing diets and lower costs are helping to drive demand for egg products worldwide.

The United States was a leader not only in egg production, but also egg consumption in 2013. The country’s per capita egg consumption is forecast at almost 260 eggs in 2014, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) projections (Figure 1). The growth in per capita egg consumption marks the only major animal protein to see gains in this category since 2011. 

“We are in the beginning stage of one of the most positive long-term growth eras for eggs that we have seen in decades,” said Joanne Ivy, president, American Egg Board. “The primary reason for this is we are seeing a shift in how we eat in our country. Perhaps the most important part of this for eggs is the huge sustained growth and interest in protein.”

Mexico, India other potential areas of increased egg consumption

Yet, the U.S. is not the only country to see gains in egg consumption in recent years. Mexico’s total annual consumption of eggs exceeded 3.3 million metric tons for the first time in 2013, according to projections (Figure 2). In the EU, after egg prices rose in 2012 on account of higher feed and input costs, prices dropped in 2013 helping to boost consumption (Figure 3). This trend is forecast to continue into 2015, according to projections by the European Commission. 

Another region experiencing a shift in poultry products consumption is India. Currently, the Indian average for per-capita consumption of eggs is about 63 – compared to more than 250 eggs per person per year on average in the U.S. But, with changing diets and increasing protein consumption, India’s consumption rate is projected to reach 100 before the year 2020. As of now, the livestock and fish sectors provide just 9 percent of calories and 20 percent of protein intake; cereals, on the other hand, comprise 50 percent of both calorie and protein intake (Figure 4). However, with rapid urbanization and changing diets, FAO notes that recent data point to a declining contribution from cereals.

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