A new white paper from the American Egg Board examines the psychological impact of comfort foods, including desserts, the categories growing most rapidly, and the product characteristics successful comfort foods share in common. People reap a genuine psychological boost from consuming comfort foods and the category is experiencing a rapid surge.

Elisa Maloberti, the AEB’s director of egg product marketing, explains that the challenge for formulators is to create the comfort food texture, look and flavor within a better-for-you formulation.

“A functional ingredient like the egg, with its high protein content and nutritional profile, can help in this regard,” Maloberti points out.

Although commonly associated with snacks and baked goods, comfort foods can be found in almost any product segment depending on its nostalgic ties to pleasant memories.

The paper, “Comfort & Convenience: Consumers Reach for it All,” shows how consumers have merged their desire for comfort foods with convenience trends to save time while juggling extra responsibilities, including more food preparation at home. Comfort foods also further the growing tendency toward authentic ingredients and traceability, as comfort foods are overwhelmingly associated with familiar kitchen staples.

Eggs, a formulary staple due to their wide-ranging functional benefits and nutritional composition, supply a versatile, authentic ingredient for a host of comfort food product types.