A new white paper from the American Egg Board examines the psychological impact of comfort foods, the categories growing most rapidly, and the product characteristics successful comfort foods share in common. People reap a genuine psychological boost from consuming comfort foods and the category is experiencing a rapid surge. Although commonly associated with snacks and baked goods, comfort foods can be found in almost any product segment depending on its nostalgic ties to pleasant memories.
The paper, “Comfort & Convenience: Consumers Reach for it All,” shows how consumers have merged their desire for comfort foods with convenience trends to save time while juggling extra responsibilities, including more food preparation at home. Comfort foods also further the growing tendency toward authentic ingredients and traceability, as comfort foods are overwhelmingly associated with familiar kitchen staples.
Eggs, a formulary staple due to their wide-ranging functional benefits and nutritional composition, supply a versatile, authentic ingredient for a host of comfort food product types. Egg products, such as liquid or dried whole eggs, egg yolks and egg whites are common ingredients in baked goods and a welcome addition to protein-forward snacks. Prepared egg products, such as patties or scrambles, can be inserted seamlessly into production lines for frozen or refrigerated breakfast foods. Sales indexes for frozen breakfast foods, for example, were up 50% for the month ending 4/5/2020.*
Eggsaminer keeps an eye on trends
The comfort food white paper is the focus of the American Egg Board’s latest Eggsaminer, a product development resource for food manufacturers. The Eggsaminer regularly takes an in-depth look at product trends and the ways formulators and marketers can or are responding to the sometimes rapidly pivoting consumer market. This issue takes a deep dive into the sudden uptick in demand for comfort foods. Eggs often feature prominently in comfort food as an authentic, highly functional and valuable nutritional component. The white paper looks at new products, the latest nutritional research, and profiles functional aspects of egg ingredients.
“While consumers initially turned to comfort food without regard for calories, there are already indicators pointing to a return to greater health consciousness,” said Elisa Maloberti, the AEB’s director of egg product marketing. “The challenge for formulators is to create the comfort food texture, look and flavor within a better-for-you formulation. A functional ingredient like the egg, with its high protein content and nutritional profile, can help in this regard.”