This surge is despite the impact of the fipronil scandal, which saw a shortage of eggs across the EU last summer. The Food Standards Agency (FSA) revealed that contaminated eggs had entered the UK from the Netherlands and had been mixed with other safe eggs. The result was a number of recalls for food products affecting several retailers.
Despite this, retail egg sales rose for the 11th year running, rising by 250M in 2017, which equated to an annual sales growth of almost 5% in volume and 6% in value. (Kantar Worldpanel, 52 weeks ending December 31 2017).
The BEIC also revealed that a change in official egg safety advice by the FSA in October, which confirmed that British Lion eggs can be eaten runny and raw and are able to be served to vulnerable groups such as infants, children and pregnant women, had an impact.
The result was that December 2017 figures showed a 9% volume growth and 8% value growth year on year (Kantar Worldpanel, 52 weeks ending December 31 2017).
“The British love affair with eggs is alive and well, and truly flourishing. Just 15 years ago, we were buying only just over 4bn eggs – the rate of growth has been phenomenal and, at this rate, we could break the 7bn barrier by 2020,” said Andrew Joret, chairman of the BEIC.
“Sales are up significantly for the 11th year running, and the recent change in egg safety advice is likely to lead to more record-breaking sales in 2018 as the good news continues to filter through to consumers. A £1M-plus marketing campaign is under way to make sure that message is delivered to consumers.
“When it comes to eggs, it’s all good news – young people are eating more, consumer confidence in their nutritional benefits is buoyant and, importantly, there is still plenty of room to grow further.”