Government advice change drives 5% increase in UK egg sales

A year on from a change in official advice, which said that mums to be, young children, and the elderly can now enjoy eggs however they want has seen retail egg sales soar to new heights.

The advice is now that ‘vulnerable’ groups may eat eggs cooked any way provided they are produced to British Lion standards.

Previously, these groups were instructed to cook eggs thoroughly meaning sunny-side-up and soft-boiled were off the menu.

While the egg market has enjoyed a period of long-term sustained growth, the latest figures are particularly significant as they cover the year since the Food Standards Agency amended its advice.

The October 12-week figures show egg sales volume rise by 4.9% – meaning shoppers picked up an additional 70 million eggs; the equivalent of more than one additional egg for every person in the UK – compared to the same period in 2017.

The good news for the market is that sales are actually accelerating, with volume up 6% for the latest four-week period (week ending October 7, 2018).

Andrew Joret, chairman of the British Egg Industry Council, said: “We have long-since felt that vulnerable groups have been avoiding eggs and missing out on their fantastic nutritional benefits, and these figures would appear to support that.

“This is fantastic news for both retailers and the egg industry and underlines the continuing popularity of eggs as a meal solution for the whole population, now including the vulnerable groups that may have been avoiding eggs due to safety advice about the need to cook them thoroughly, but it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

We expected the change in egg safety advice to take some time to filter through as the previous advice has been passed down through generations of families and health professionals, so we’re delighted to see such a significant impact in just a year.

“With this barrier now removed everyone can benefit from eggs, no matter how they are cooked, and we feel very confident that egg sales will continue to grow and grow.”