American Egg Board announces Eggcelerator lab
The American Egg Board has launched the Eggcelerator Lab to drive industry innovation by bringing new products to market and increasing demand for eggs.
President and CEO Emily Metz says the innovation hub will increase opportunities for American egg farmers.
“That’s what it’s all about. The American Egg Board’s mission is to build demand for U.S. eggs and egg products. It’s to market eggs and egg products. If we’re able to recognize some of these opportunities that create increased demand for eggs, because you now have customers that were not using eggs in their product line and now potentially, through the Eggcelerator lab, will have either products or menu items that will feature eggs. Those are eggs that were not being used before that are now potentially going to be used in the next year or two years as these things come to market and that provides a huge opportunity for farmers to have those companies become their customers or expand the demand to those customers from what’s existing now.
She says an example of the work coming out of the Eggcelerator Lab is a partnership with West Liberty Foods.
“They’ve traditionally been a sliced deli meat company and now we’re integrating eggs into maybe some new sandwiches for them, and their customers range from massive convenience store chains to massive quick-service sandwich chains. The opportunity for eggs and demand is huge with that one client of the Eggcelerator lab,” she says. “Another example is Hormel Foods, a traditional meat company looking to break into the retail, on-the-go breakfast space. In the chilled retail aisle next to the breakfast meats, the company is looking for its slice of that on-the-go breakfast item opportunity and those items need eggs. The company is working with us to develop some new ideas that would fit in that category at retail and put new eggs in front of consumers in new ways.”
The lab is developing market-ready products with the consumer in mind.
“The consumer is more into convenience and on-the-go and are less prone, especially the younger consumers, to be cooking we have to continue to evolve and expand the egg to meet those consumer demands where they are,” she says. “…Eggs are well positioned for all of that we just have to find the right opportunity and the right partner to bring some of those ideas to life and that’s what the Eggcelerator Lab is all about.”
The lab has been in the works for more than two years and was driven by producer feedback and the AEB strategic plan.
AEB says the Eggcelerator Lab is a network of innovation and insights capabilities, resources, and expertise designed to bring new egg-based ideas to market.
Metz says AEB sees its role in the Eggcelerator lab as a connector, bringing people together and identifying solutions that benefit everybody.
“Our clients, which are our farmers’ customers— the people they sell to at the end of the day— see us as a safe place for wide space discovery to identify new menu items or products that they can be bringing to market. We can take some of the risk out of that for them,” she says. “We’re not selling anything so they can have some unvarnished conversations with us and then we put those needs that they’re bringing to the table to use to say how can eggs be a solution to those needs. A farmer’s opportunity with that given customer is even larger because now that customer maybe has a new menu item or a new product line that needs eggs and that’s more eggs that have the opportunity to move through the marketplace.
For more information, visit IncredibleEgg.org/EggceleratorLab.
The American Egg Board is the U.S. egg industry’s national marketing organization.
Audio: Emily Metz