A golden statuette or a rich, golden yolk? Golden statues are rare, while egg ingredients help create food enjoyed by everyone—and food manufacturers seem to agree. The American Egg Board announces leading categories for new product introductions in 2014 that use egg ingredients, compared to 2013, as tracked by Mintel’s Global New Products Database (GNPD).

First Nominee: Cakes, Pastries and Sweet Goods

American consumers, while pursing their quest for healthier eating, still enjoy indulgent treats like the occasional cake, pastry or sweet baked good. This is the strongest category for egg usage since tracking began in 2008. In 2014 egg ingredients usage grew yet again, with 10 percent more new product introductions in the category using them in delicious confections compared to 2013.

Elisa Maloberti, Director of Egg Product Marketing, the American Egg Board, says, “Each of the food categories help highlight a few of the 20-plus incredible functional properties of egg ingredients. Cakes and pastries might rely on egg ingredients for aeration, color, texture and/or crumb structure, with cakes in particular relying on egg ingredients to help achieve specific gravity for the batter.”

Best Performance: Sweet Biscuits and Cookies

It might be the individual serving size or its handheld appeal, but the sweet biscuit/cookie category grew again in 2014 with 11 percent more new product introductions using egg ingredients compared to 2013.

Maloberti said, “Egg ingredients’ protein content help contribute to cookie structure. Liquid egg ingredients play a role in cookie spread, which must be tightly controlled to produce a uniform product suitable for processing conditions and package sizes.”

Best Meal Selection: Sandwiches and Wraps

Inspiration here stems from consumer desire for convenient, handheld and portable nutritious meals. The Sandwiches and Wraps category witnessed a 14 percent increase in new product introductions compared to 2013, with a focus on the breakfast offerings.

Sandwiches and wraps help energize the frozen food section in retail. According to IRI, sales of frozen breakfast items such as sandwiches and burritos grew 6.7 percent and breakfast entrée sales grew 5 percent in the 12-month period ending in August of 2014, with multiple national brands introducing new items. The percentage growth outpaces even that of the foodservice segment, which according to Technomic increased 4.8 percent annually from 2007 to 2012, slowing a bit to 3.5 percent in 2014. One writer has deemed the breakfast sandwich, “the new burger.”

According to Maloberti, “Sandwiches, wraps and snacks that include a high-quality protein like those provided by egg ingredients are more filling and satisfying for consumers. And there’s nothing that beats the great taste of an egg on a breakfast sandwich, with any number of delicious combinations available for accompanying breads, cheeses and sauces, to fit any taste profile.”

Best Supporting Role: Snacks

In the Snack-ification of America, consumers are choosing multiple mini-meals instead of the historic three meals a day. For the first time, the majority of consumers—51 percent—snacks at least twice a day, up from 41 percent in 2012 (Technomic 2014). And 41 percent of consumers replace a regular meal with a snack.

It comes as no surprise that categories like Dips (11 percent) and Snack/Cereal/Energy Bars (11 percent) rose last year.  New poultry products (up 45 percent) such as snack-able bites and nuggets utilize egg ingredients for binding properties to help batters or breading adhere to the substrate. And on the sweet side of snacking, we include Seasonal Chocolates (up 27 percent).

People’s Choice: Convenience

Several different categories within new product introductions fit into the convenience trend, such as sandwiches and wraps or portable snacks. Meal kits make it possible to serve a complete dinner at home, for example, with little preparation time. Meal kits including egg ingredients jumped 13 percent in 2014.

Side salads can help round out a convenient meal, especially when pre-prepared. Within the potato category, a number of new potato salad forms entered the market, including diced or sliced hard-boiled eggs, or relying on egg ingredients for emulsification properties within the dressing.

And to finish off, top package claims for 2008-2014 using egg ingredients definitely point out the continuing push for cleaner labels and convenience. Among the top ten:

Microwaveable

No additives/preservatives

Ease of Use

All Natural Product

Premium

Low/no/reduced trans fat

Low/no/reduced fat

Available in liquid, frozen or dried forms, as whole eggs, yolks, whites or tailored to meet preparation or processing specifications, there’s a REAL egg ingredient to suit any requirement. For more information about including REAL eggs in product formulations or to find a supplier of REAL egg ingredients, visit the American Egg Board’s website at www.aeb.org.