Sales within the US egg market dropped dramatically in 2010 due to a salmonella outbreak, only slightly managing to recover in 2011, with less than 1% growth.
This led to an increase in organic and locally produced eggs (in some cases, supply could not keep up with demand) due to a consumer perception that living conditions are cleaner for smaller flocks. As a staple product, egg consumption is expected to stabilise.
Eggs are a primary source of animal protein globally, and the US is the third largest producer of eggs in the world, behind China and the European Union.
Regular white eggs are purchased by a large majority of consumers (88%), followed in the distance by brown eggs at 27%, organic eggs and free range eggs come in at 17% and 14%, respectively. Organic and free range eggs are most widely used by those aged 25-34.
An estimated 275 million dozen eggs were exported from the US in 2011, 30% more than the 10-year average for annual US exports. Hong Kong remains the largest export market for US eggs, followed by Canada, but there are growth opportunities in many other countries.
The threat of Avian Influenza outbreaks, the ongoing animal welfare discussion, and rising feed costs will be important steering factors for the future development of the US egg market.
For more information on the US egg market, see the latest research: US Egg Market Report
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