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Canada’s Egg Industry Cracking Open the Market

The egg industry is in the midst of a resurgence. In Mexico, the world’s largest egg consuming country per capita, egg prices have doubled in some regions, while U.S. egg prices have reached all-time highs. In Canada, where prices are a bit more stable, egg are a bigger part of consumer’s diets than they were a few years ago.

Compared to 2007 levels, Canadian consumers today are eating three dozen more eggs per year on average according to the country’s agriculture department, and are approaching consumption levels not seen since the 1980’s when per capita consumption levels topped approximately 22 dozen.

"We feel like we're in a bit of a sweet spot for the demand for eggs for the foreseeable future," Tim Lambert, head of the Egg Farmers of Canada told CBC News.

For years the link between foods containing animal fats such as eggs and high cholesterol hurt the chicken industry, however recent studies have revised these traditional guidelines for avoiding animal fats, and doctors are realizing that eggs can belong in a healthy diet, and egg lobbyists are spreading the word. In addition, the shift in consumer preferences toward high-protein breakfasts and away from carbohydrates is supporting the egg industry and driving up prices.

The cost of a dozen eggs has increased from $2.61 in 2009 to $3.28 in early 2015 according to Statistics Canada, however future fluctuations in price will highly depend upon the price of chicken feed which accounts for approximately 75% of production costs. The increase in the production of specialty eggs including organic, free-range, and omega-3 fortified, may also contribute to price increases in the future as consumption develops and matures.

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Lynda Kiernan is Editor with HighQuest Group Media and of the Oilseed & Grain News. If you would like to submit a contribution for consideration, please contact Ms. Kiernan at lkiernan@highquestgroup.com.

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