HOW do Scots like their eggs in the morning? Fried, scrambled, poached, hard-boiled, dippy in the middle or whipped up into an omelette?
Whatever the preferred method of consumption, there are many ways that eggs can make an appearance at the breakfast table. And retailers should be wise to the fact that Scots buy more eggs than their counterparts in the rest of Great Britain.
Kantar research shows that, in the year up to November 2013, eggs made up 8% of breakfast foods most likely to be featured at the morning meal.
Noble Foods, which owns free-range egg brand The Happy Egg Co and other brands Big & Fresh and Eggs for Soldiers, says that the recession has had a big impact on egg sales and the breakfast category.
The economic downturn led to consumers becoming more focused on value as budgets tightened, it says. And, the firm argues, eggs offer consumers good value due to their versatility and because families know that by having eggs at home, there’ll always be something to make a meal with.
Scottish consumers are big fans of eggs. Noble says Nielsen research shows that in the year to December 2013, total volume sales of eggs in Scotland were up 0.65%. That compared to a fall of 0.13% in England and Wales.
The company says its Happy Egg Co eggs are achieving significantly greater growth in Scotland, where volume sales are up 9.6%, than in England and Wales, where volume sales still increased but by 5.4%.
Noble conducted its own research and found that four in 10 consumers eat eggs for breakfast once a week. And many of them are keen on different cooking methods. The firm found that 86% of consumers scramble their eggs and 84% boil or fry them.
The frequency and number of eggs purchased depends on the size of the household – but 40% purchase eggs once a week.
Noble says Nielsen research shows that sales of Free Range and Organic eggs reached a new high of 57.1% share in October 2013. That equates to a value of £616.5m.
It suggests retailers should stock its free-range egg brand to tap into the trend.
Eggs are also increasingly seen as a healthy food which is particularly relevant in the early months of the year, the firm argues.