Aussies egg-cellent eaters

BE THEY scrambled, boiled, or fried, Australians have increased their egg consumption with gusto, eating 7% more eggs in the past year.

The Australian egg industry has responded by producing a total of 392 million dozen eggs during 2011 or 12.9 million eggs each day.

New statistics, released by the Australian Egg Corporation Ltd, reveal this represents an increase of 10% on 2010 levels and up 22% on the five-year average or an increase of 51% since 2000.

AECL director James Kellaway said that in the past year, each Australian ate on average a whopping 213 eggs, up from the 198 eggs consumed in 2010.

"These statistics prove the humble egg has become a central part of the diet of Australians," Mr Kellaway said.

"Be it breakfast, lunch or dinner, eggs are a versatile, nutritious and very affordable food tat Australians are eating ... with great gusto.

"While Australians have increased their egg consumption in the past two years, Mexicans and Japanese eat considerably more eggs than us.

"According to the International Egg Commission, Mexicans ate a whopping 365 eggs while Japanese people ate 324 eggs in the past year."

In terms of retail sales, a total of 128.4 million dozen (worth $523.5 million) were sold, which is up by 5% on the volumes sold in 2010 and up by 19% on the five-year average with long term annual growth also averaging 5% each year.

This compares to population growth in Australia which averages 1.5% each year.

"We believe the increased consumption is due to a growing awareness of new science that proves eggs do not increase cholesterol as previously thought and that people can safely eat six eggs a week according to the Heart Foundation," Mr Kellaway said.

"Not only that, new science shows egg consumption can help people with diabetes and assist reduce obesity in the community.

"In terms of market shares in 2011, cage eggs owned 55% of the retail market with free range eggs representing 34%.

"Barn-laid eggs remained subdued at 9%."

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