Culturally, America’s eating habits are changing. It's a constantly shifting landscape for food manufacturers when seemingly every age group, gender or subsection of the population is shopping and dining according to its own unique set of rules.
We are snacking more often, grabbing food on the fly and frequently dining alone. When we dine together, family members might opt for separate meals selected according to individual lifestyles such as vegan, gluten-free or paleo, according to a Hartman Group study, “Modern Eating: Cultural Roots, Daily Behaviors.”
In what the Hartman Group has coined the Roadside Pantry Effect, consumers compose meals with individual elements rather than cooking meals the traditional way, combining perhaps one take-out item with a fresh vegetable or fruit alongside a frozen side dish or entrée. The fact the meals are combined is key, because on all eating occasions the group analysis shows, 77% involve some sort of prepared food.
In these situations a food manufacturer’s best bet is a multi-functional, cross-generational ingredient that happens to comfortably fill almost any type of niche dining listed. Eggs help create a better texture and better tasting gluten-free foods, enabling formulators to overcome the difficulties created when wheat gluten is removed from breads, cookies, muffins and other baking goods. As a highly bioavailable protein, egg ingredients are one of the more important components of a paleo diet. And many vegetarians will accept eggs as or within a meal component.
Egg ingredients can star as the main attraction, such as preformed egg patties designed for grab-and-go breakfast sandwiches or stay in the background, performing one or more of their twenty-plus functional attributes. From mainstream to market niche, egg ingredients contribute timeless functionality that helps your products move with the times and remain in tune with cultural shifts.