Egg producers crack that tricky export market

One-in-three people now opting for eggs as dinner choice, according to Bord Bia data

Egg producers are keeping the sunny side up by more than doubling the value of their exports since 2011, according to the latest figures from the Central Statistics Office.

Ireland’s egg exports were valued at €7.7 million in 2011 but had risen to €16.3 million by the end of 2014.

Egg producers are also continuing to crack the home market with a steady rise in consumption, according to Bord Bia's consumer and trade marketing manager, Teresa Brophy. "Definitely over the last few years people are eating more eggs. We've also noticed that they are buying larger pack sizes, so instead of six packs, 60 per cent of packs sold have nine eggs or more."

Good value

She said budgeting was a key factor because “the cost of an egg is about 24 cent so it’s very good value. But we’ve seen a trend where people are not only eating eggs for breakfast. They are eating them for lunch and dinner too.”

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She said Bord Bia’s latest survey found that one-third of people were eating eggs as part of their dinner, up from 20 per cent in 2011.

Four years ago, 19 per cent of 25- to 45-year-olds said they ate eggs as part of dinner, but that had risen to 36 per cent by last November. Ms Brophy said younger people saw eggs as a healthy food because of their protein content.

The rising popularity of brunch and the continuing increase in home baking could also explain rising consumption, she said.

Alison Healy

Alison Healy

Alison Healy is a contributor to The Irish Times