Consumer demand for a springtime favorite is eggs-cellent

Published 11:00 am Thursday, April 7, 2022

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Spring is here, and with it come holidays perfect for a favorite protein: eggs.

Besides being delicious, eggs also are important to Virginia agriculture. In 2021, Virginia farmers produced 710 million eggs, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Service. Ranking among the top 20 commodities produced in the commonwealth, sales of eggs generated more than $94 million in cash receipts in 2020.

“Over the past 20 years, egg consumption has trended upward by 15%,” said Hobey Bauhan, president of the Virginia Poultry Federation and a member of Rockingham County Farm Bureau.

This increase has resulted in Americans consuming an average of 286 eggs annually, according to the USDA. U.S. poultry farms produced nearly 96 billion table eggs in 2021. The USDA forecasts 2022’s production will exceed last year’s by 1%.

While consumer demand remains strong throughout the year, there is an uptick during spring and around holidays as people use more eggs for cooking and baking special treats — and for egg hunts.

“Eggs are a great nutrient-dense source of protein for healthy diets,” explained Mary Rapoport, consumer affairs director for the Virginia Egg Council.

Whether they’re eaten deviled, fried, scrambled or mixed into a salad, eggs are known for being nutritional powerhouses. They contain nutrients like iron, vitamins A and B, selenium, potassium and more.

“Eggs and other poultry products remain a good value for consumers compared to some other protein options available,” Bauhan noted.