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Commercializing Eggs for the Breakfast Day Part

All signs point to breakfast as an all-day anytime offering and the movement keeps gaining traction. Prepared savory egg dishes fill a market niche dedicated to this trend.


Experts say high protein breakfasts keep us full longer, to aid in our underlying goal to avoid weight gain and control our hunger. With eggs providing an abundant and cost effective source of protein it seems to make sense to have them for breakfast—whether eaten in the morning, afternoon or evening. We loved omelets or egg sandwiches as children but when we reach adulthood, they disappear from our home menus because of preparation time. The retail market has responded with heat-and-eat breakfast choices providing multiple options that offer lean and lower-calorie choices, like Special K's 240 calorie flatbreads. NPD predicts that these breakfast options will continue to grow more than 13% by 2018.

The supplier side of the restaurant industry has begun to respond to the growing need for all-day egg items. Egg wraps, quiches, egg frittatas, ready-to-heat-and-eat omelets and all-day egg sandwiches are part of a wide offering at coffee shops and QSR restaurants like Starbucks and Panera. The egg products served up in these chains is brought in frozen, ready-to-go for serving up great egg menu items like these, with new creations limited only by a chef’s imagination.

This makes the egg breakfast convenient and tasty. Technomic Research shows that breakfast is all about convenience and consumers are willing to pay more in the morning if there is quick service that fits into their routine. The quick-serve breakfast category is getting manufacturers of value-added egg products to become more creative in product offerings of cooked egg items. And inspired chefs are responding by inserting egg dishes on all sections of their menu.

Chi Town Eatery, scheduled to open soon in the west loop of Chicago, is one of many establishments to promote egg protein on a large, all-day breakfast menu. The eatery has adapted its menu to include specialty and build-your-own sandwiches and wraps in the morning for the grab-and-go coffee customer. Options like Florentine Egg sandwich (spinach, tomatoes, artichoke pieces and Swiss cheese) appeal to the vegetable lover  while Chili Bacon Egg Launcher swings to the other side of the pendulum, (house chili, bacon, cheese and BBQ Ranch Sauce), to provide former breakfast-skippers with quick and flavorful choices.

This resurgent breakfast popularity combined with the new prepared egg options available to restaurateurs is causing eggs to appear in all day breakfast menus, or like at Chi Town Eatery, as a complementary element in appetizer, lunch and dinner sections. Chef Steve Schimoler of Crop Bistro & Bar in Cleveland, is one of many to reintroduce eggs to their menu offerings with his Chile Deviled Egg with Oven Dried Prosciutto. He says that simple dishes like deviled eggs deliver comfort from the past and when combined with unique ingredients create new flavor memories for the future. Eggs have been a part of his menu for the past five years and will remain. As other chefs ride the breakfast wave look to see more exciting menu offering like this one appearing in an eatery near you.

To locate a supplier of value-added egg products, visit http://www.aeb.org/food-manufacturers/where-to-buy-egg-products.

For innovative breakfast offerings, visit http://www.aeb.org/foodservice/recipes.

2013-09-30 05:00:23
 

Single Serve Desserts

A quick check around the baking aisle proves that the single-serve dessert phenomenon continues to grow. Even as cupcakes prove their staying power, other single serve, unique baked items join their ranks, including cake pops and mini layer cakes in plastic tubes—“push-pop” cakes that mimic the ice cream confection.  Mini microwave cheesecakes are easy to prepare either at fast-casual establishments or at home. The frozen aisle of the supermarket features single-serve microwave novelties formerly seen only in restaurants, such as lava cakes, that when heated produce a rich cake surrounding a warm, liquid center.

The key, said one baking operator is using high-quality ingredients in made-from-scratch formulations, incorporating original flavors and unique presentations. Obtaining the desired volume, crumb structure, moisture level and texture are important considerations in any cake preparation, and are contributed by egg ingredients, either whole eggs or egg whites.

The continuing popularity of single-serve desserts could be due to a number of factors.  Among them, consumers strapped for cash haven’t forgotten the lessons from the lingering recession and a single-serve dessert satisfies a sweet tooth without breaking the bank. Single-serve desserts, such as gourmet cupcakes, fall into the “affordable indulgence” category (think gourmet coffees and espressos) as labeled by economists. Yet these affordable indulgences had better be just that—unique, inspired and rich with quality, natural ingredients.

Another possible factor—in addition to watching their wallets, consumers are becoming increasingly calorie conscious and a single baked treat provides less temptation than an entire cake.

2013-09-19 14:35:23
 

Breakfast Skippers

We’re a confused nation when it comes to breakfast, illustrated by conflicting attitudes about the importance of that meal compared to our actions concerning it. USDA statistics reveal 93%, or an overwhelming majority of Americans consider breakfast the most important meal of the day. Yet the percentage of Americans who eat breakfast daily dips below half to only 44% of us and the percent of breakfast skippers who are obese stands at 22%.


Perhaps we’re already looking for ways to fix this gap as NPD predicts heat-and-eat breakfasts to grow more than 13% by 2018.

This could help the obesity dilemma because currently, our first choice for breakfast might not always be our best choice. The best choice, according to the experts, is a meal high in protein. Protein satisfies longer than carbohydrates, contributing to that “full” feeling, otherwise known as satiety. Several studies in various journals, including the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, conclude that protein has a greater effect on satiety than carbohydrates or fat and that satiety contributes to weight loss.

In particular, when it concerns breakfast, even the type of protein selected makes a difference in satiety. A study presented at 19th European Congress on Obesity in Lyon, France in 2012, reports that eating eggs for breakfast is associated with greater satiety and reduced calorie consumption at lunch than eating wheat-based breakfast foods like ready-to-eat breakfast cereal.  http://www.pbrc.edu/news/?ArticleID=147

This randomized, crossover trial compared two breakfast meals that were nearly identical in the amount of calories and protein provided, but the quality of protein in the breakfasts distinguished the two. The egg breakfast supplied high-quality protein, in a form easily digested by the human body.  Continuing the good news is the fact that the average amount of cholesterol in one large egg is 185 mg, 14 percent lower than previously recorded at 215 mg and large eggs now contain 41 IU of vitamin D, an increase of 64 percent.

Time to end the confusion and sit down not just to breakfast, which is a first good step, but a breakfast with high-quality protein like that found in eggs. For Incredible! breakfast formulations visit http://www.aeb.org/food-manufacturers/functional-properties-uses.

2013-09-19 14:34:04
 

Single Serve Desserts - The Research Chefs Perspective

I remember the first time I was introduced to a single-serve dessert was a crispy fried cheesecake for a pizza chain. It was simply deep-fried and ready for a quick, single-serve dessert that delivered crispy on the outside and melting cheesecake goodness on the inside. The key ingredient that made this possible in its frozen form was whole egg and egg yolk combined with sugar, cream cheese and cream to deliver a fully freeze-thaw stable dessert. It can prove challenging to manage water crystallization through freeze thaw and deliver a smooth, creamy, perfectly gelled dessert. Without eggs this wouldn't be possible.

Behind the marketing for a gourmet cupcake, individual gateaux or mini cheesecake lies the consumer’s emotion and passion, appealing to the need to feel indulgent and special. Without the functionality of eggs these airy high-volume, perfectly light desserts wouldn't be possible.

Retailers offer up these commercialized but highly artisan desserts in their bakery cases and in the frozen food aisle. QSR and semi casual restaurants, like Chili's lava cakes & Starbucks cake pops demonstrate the widespread capability to provide special desserts as well. Items that were never considered to be part of our everyday life now are. This is all in large part to the functional ingredients utilized, and the most functional is the egg. Companies like Sweet Streets, Eli's Bakery and Vie de France commercialize and sell fine individualized desserts to these chains in a frozen form.

The reason why the upscale restaurant, bakery and pastry manufacturers were always so special was their use of high-quality, either dry or liquid egg ingredients, to deliver the desired functional characteristics (volume, crumb structure, moisture level, and texture) in desserts. These highly desirable characteristics are derived from eggs (whole, whites or yolks), and manufacturing bakeries are now using egg ingredients that allow them to provide the same delicate characteristics to bakery products designed for grocery stores or QSR establishments. Functional egg ingredients have allowed manufactures to achieve consistency on a mass scale yet still provide quality products.

For example, high whip egg whites, either dry, liquid or frozen, allow the perfect meringue to be produced each time. This then provides the proper leavening and aeration to create an individual light fluffy Angel Food Cake. The volume generated to produce this fluffy cake allows a batter to extend into more finished desserts creating a more cost-effective product. These base batters can then be flavored and enhanced with an infinite variety of fillings, toppings and shapes, to appeal to the "gourmet" consumer. Because believe me, consumers are not willing to let quality drop. Rich egg yolks used in a traditional cheesecake is a quality expected from gourmet to single-serve options like Jenny Craig's under 200 calorie cookies and cream variety.

The continued popularity of convenience single-serve desserts does not seem to be going anywhere. Items like cheesecakes, cupcakes, cookies and brownies are quickly evolving to accommodate new flavors trends and are being joined by cake pops, push pop cakes, mini pies, bites and more. Without the egg these desserts wouldn't be possible or as desirable for a discerning consumer palate.

For single-serve dessert formulation ideas visit http://www.aeb.org/food-manufacturers/functional-properties-uses.

2013-09-19 14:31:47
 

The Egg & Clean Labeling

Today the American Egg Board announced the release of its latest white paper - “The Egg & Clean Labeling”. The white paper explores the importance and relevance of eggs in today’s clean label marketplace. The number of consumers interested in the contents of modern ingredient labels continues to climb. And they are looking for some very specific information. In fact, according to the 2013 International Food Information Council “Health and Wellness” annual survey, 93 percent of consumers prefer to see familiar ingredients (such as eggs) on food labels. As a result, food manufacturers are more aware and discerning about the ingredients on their product labels.

A natural fit

“Nothing is much more natural than an egg,” explains Joanne Ivy, president & CEO, American Egg Board. “Eggs have a history of use that goes back as far as mankind. It’s probably safe to say that eggs are universally recognized and understood by consumers. So as consumers demand more clean labeled, natural products with recognizable ingredients, eggs can certainly make an important impact on their buying decisions.”

Key white paper highlights include:

Copies of “The Egg & Clean Labeling” white paper can be downloaded at www.aeb.org/realeggs. For more information on the 20-plus functions and formulas using all natural eggs, visit AEB.org.

  • Buying trends are leading to increasing numbers of natural and clean label products
  • People want to see ingredients they recognize and trust
  • Clean labels play a significant role in consumer purchasing decisions
  • 85% of consumers view eggs as a healthy, wholesome choice for their families
  • Eggs are a key ingredient in making products better because of their 20 plus functions from emulsification to coagulation
  • Egg products used in food processing are indistinguishable from fresh eggs in flavor, functionality and nutritional value
  • Cost-effective, appealing, always 100% natural. Eggs can be a positive addition to a label.
  • Eggs are not a genetically modified (GM) food. This includes shell eggs and eggs used for processed egg products, i.e. liquid and/or egg powder.

Copies of “The Egg & Clean Labeling” white paper can be downloaded at here. For more information on the 20-plus functions and formulas using all natural eggs, visit AEB.org.

2013-09-19 13:24:55