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Relax: Eggs Meet that Market Niche

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.

2014-08-18 17:09:15
 

Time for Some Egg-ucation

The National Egg Products School (NEPS) is a three-day, hands-on course for food formulators that explores the incredibly functional egg and its role in food product development.  NEPS is only held every other year, hosted by Auburn University in Auburn Alabama with the next event scheduled September 15 to 17, 2014.

The course brings together the brightest minds dedicated to poultry science and egg functionality from major universities such as Purdue, Texas A&M, and North Carolina State University. It is designed to give participants—food formulators, chefs and egg industry professionals—a thorough introduction to eggs and egg products from their initial formation through the packaging of liquid and dried egg products for industrial use. This “farm to fork” review includes side excursions into molecular structure, safety, microbiology and the latest research on egg nutrition.

Alongside the educational lectures and presentations, the program incorporates four laboratory sessions in the Auburn University applications lab/kitchen where participants use a variety of egg ingredients to create angel food cake, ice cream, mayonnaise and custard. The intent is to demonstrate the functional characteristics egg ingredients supply to these applications, investigate the scientific principles behind the functionality, and then taste the results.

Participants can apply for continuing education credits awarded by Auburn University to organization such as the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) and Research Chefs Association (RCA).

American Egg Board consultant Chef Walter Zuromski, CEC, CCE, Chef Services Group, Boston, MA, and founding member of RCA, is one of the presenters for this year’s program. Zuromski will conduct demonstrations including product tasting, to highlight the culinary side of egg ingredients, focusing on desired functionality coupled with sensory needs, including taste. “Because at the end of the day, its all about food,” he says. 

Zuromski participated in NEPS as a student and said he believes it made him a better chef. “I’d like to see more chefs participate in this school,” says Zuromski. “Pastry chefs of course, but any chef can benefit because eggs fit into every daypart of the menu.”

In addition to providing instructors and program materials, American Egg Board is a major sponsor of the school. Real foods such as eggs not only nourish the body, scientific and practical evidence over the course of decades prove its worth as principal ingredients in multiple applications. They can provide functional benefits like aeration, binding, humectancy and emulsification. Real egg ingredients create better products in appearance, texture and taste. This school will help participants see the value egg ingredients contribute to formulations. For more information click on  http://www.ag.auburn.edu/poul/neps/.

2014-08-18 15:05:45
 

Don't Abandon "Natural" Too Quickly

Who ever could have imagined the word “natural” could provoke such controversy? A flurry of lawsuits caused many companies to back away from use of the word on product labels. However, the quest for natural hasn’t ceased. In fact, it’s gathering momentum. Research shows consumers want natural, clean label ingredients in their foods and beverages while at the same time demanding authenticity from food manufacturers. 
A national survey released by Consumer Reports in June reveals consumers want natural labels but have a certain level of expectations from the manufacturers in return. A total of 59% of consumers check to see if the products they are buying are “natural.” Among the findings 87% of consumers believe a food with a natural label should not include artificial ingredients. 
 
Fortunately, manufacturers can turn to natural ingredients like REAL eggs. Eggs supply valuable, beneficial functional and nutritional qualities appreciated by formulators and consumers alike.  Eggs are simply listed as “eggs” on the label – a clear choice for manufacturers that want to create clean, natural products. 
 
The ingredients listed on the nutrition deck in the back can boldly declare your product intentions. Discover the benefits REAL eggs can provide for your formulation. 
2014-08-04 13:24:32