Quick Poll: Basic eggs just fine with consumers

Articles
August 20, 2010

Quick Poll: Basic eggs just fine with consumers

The latest news is about the recall of 380 million eggs due to salmonella incidents in California, Colorado and Minnesota.

The latest news is about the recall of 380 million eggs due to salmonella incidents in California, Colorado and Minnesota. Clearly, this won’t do much for egg consumption, which used to be one egg a day per person in the 1960s, but is down to 257 per year, according to Forbes.

However, The Lempert Report fielded a national consumer poll this past month about how consumers perceive eggs, and how people fit eggs into their household diets and health management. Since the percentages reported from this survey are from before the salmonella outbreak, we believe our figures are an accurate baseline of consumer sentiment, devoid of the latest emotions.

More than three-quarters of consumers polled (76%) perceive no health drawbacks from eating eggs. A similar amount (77%) said no one in their household is trying to ingest less cholesterol by eating fewer eggs. As for buying liquid egg whites despite the higher cost, 83% don’t do this at all, 15% have moved part of their buying to liquid egg whites, and 2% have shifted to this product entirely. 

A positive sign for the egg industry: Over the past two years, egg consumption has held steady in 62% of U.S. households and risen in 23%; just 15% are eating fewer eggs. The Lempert Report believes the low cost of eggs compared with other main dishes in this recession is one reason; another is the improved nutritional composition of specialty eggs because of the better ways these birds are fed.

The vast majority of consumers (75%) see eggs as a commodity with no particular advantage in branded over non-branded varieties. Among the one-quarter who perceive branded eggs as better products, fewer than one in six name the following reasons: more nutrients, taste better, cook better, less cholesterol, less likely to crack in handling.

Nor do most consumers (78%) believe that brown eggs are better than white eggs. Among the one-fifth who do, here’s how, according to one in seven: taste better, more nutrients, less likely to crack in handling, cook better, less cholesterol.

Fewer than one consumer in three (30%) buy eggs only from free-range chickens. The most popular size, according to the poll, is large (58%), followed by extra large (32%) and jumbo.