Like many emerging industries, the growth of the alternative egg sector is slowed by marketplace challenges and consumer barriers. We can only overcome these to maximise plant-based egg sales if we can recognise and understand them.
So, what are some of the main issues?
As part of the New Food Hub series on alt eggs, ProVeg International’s latest article uncovers the top challenges facing the industry.
As consumers continue to grapple with the cost of living crisis, price is a primary factor influencing their purchasing decisions. With this in mind, the high cost associated with plant-based egg products and the lack of price parity with animal-based egg products is one of the major factors limiting industry growth.
So, if we want to encourage a greater number of plant-based egg purchases, we must reduce this price barrier (which is fuelled by inflation and supply-issue competition).
Of course, beating this challenge is easier said than done and has both long (as well as complicated) and short-term fixes. However, in the short term, you can make your products more attractive to penny-counting consumers by working with retailers/stockists to utilise discounts and promotions.
Plant-based eggs do have some cost advantages over animal-based eggs, though:
“The biggest advantage, cost-wise, that we have over a chicken egg is that roughly 53% of the cost of every egg comes from the soya and corn the chicken consumes. [Egg companies] are stuck with that cost, we’re not.” – CEO Eat Just, Josh Tetrick tells Bloomberg.
Minimal consumer awareness, acceptance, and widespread food neophobia (nervousness about trying something new)
Stemming from accessibility issues is consumer awareness and acceptance. A lack of familiarity with plant-based products results in negative consumer expectations and lower acceptability.
To overcome this, brands should market alt egg products with explicit reference to familiar products with positive sensory associations, like conventional eggs and products that are made from them.
Consumers also form different attitudes toward new food products depending on the perceptions and associations they develop once introduced to a product. For example, a different colour of plant-based meats compared to conventional meat increases consumers’ scepticism towards the taste and texture of the plant meat.
To prevent this from happening with alt eggs, plant-based egg producers should aim to produce alt eggs that look like conventional eggs.
Learn the two remaining challenges by reading the full New Food Hub article.
Get in touch with ProVeg at [email protected] for advice on overcoming these challenges and support with product strategy.
Plant-based price parity report, (2023). ProVeg International. Available: https://corporate.proveg.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/02/Plant-based-Price-Parity-Report.pdf. Accessed 2021-03-02.
 Sunny Side Definitely Up for Plant-Based Egg Market, (2022). The Food Institute. Available at:
https://foodinstitute.com/focus/sunny-side-definitely-up-for-plant-based-egg-market/. Accessed 2023-03-02.
 Exploring consumers’ perceptions of plant-based eggs using concept mapping and semantic network analysis, (2021). Science Direct. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S095032932100210X. Accessed 2023-03-05.