Arla Foods Ingredients is forecasting a 100% increase in sales of its egg replacers this year, as a direct result of egg shortages caused by new European animal welfare legislation.
In 2011 the Denmark-based company, the ingredients division of dairy giant Arla Foods, helped to replace the equivalent of 20,000 tons of whole liquid eggs through sales of its NUTRILAC egg replacers to the bakery industry.
But, based on sales data for the first three months of this year, it now expects volumes in 2012 to reach the equivalent of 40,000 tons of liquid whole eggs – enough to replace a total of 800 million liquid eggs in bakery applications.
Arla Foods Ingredients is also forecasting that overall turnover in its bakery division will double to €26.9 million this year – thanks to the success of increased sales of its NUTRILAC egg replacers.
Experts at Arla Foods Ingredients believe the main reason for this surge in sales is the introduction of the EU’s Welfare of Laying Hens Directive at the start of the year. This banned the use of cramped battery cages, obliging egg producers to use larger ‘enriched’ cages that allow hens more space to perch and move.
However, as many as 13 EU countries have admitted their egg industries are not ready to meet the new requirements. As a result, supplies of legal eggs across Europe have tightened, leading to soaring prices and hitting the bakery industry hard. On 10 March, it was reported by The Grocer magazine that the cost of whole pasteurized liquid egg had shot up by 85% to €2.40/kg since the beginning of this year.
John Gelley, Sales Director for EU Bakery at Arla Foods Ingredients, said: “The impact of the Welfare of Laying Hens Directive on egg prices has been huge, and as a result many bakery companies have been switching to our NUTRILAC egg replacers as a more cost-effective alternative. The first quarter of this year has seen a big spike in sales of our egg replacers and, since market prices for eggs show no signs of softening, we anticipate this trend will continue.”
He added: “Arla Foods Ingredients has been supplying the bakery industry with NUTRILAC egg replacers for the past 12 years now, and over that time they have been used successfully in a huge variety of applications. However, we have never seen demand this strong, and it’s clear the effects of the Welfare of Laying Hens Directive are prompting bakers to think very carefully about the ingredients they use. NUTRILAC egg replacers are the perfect solution for bakery businesses looking to keep a lid on their costs.”
Manufactured from fractionated whey proteins, NUTRILAC egg replacers are not only less expensive than eggs, but they are also lower in calories, saturated fat and cholesterol. They have a longer shelf life – up to 18 months – and they produce great tasting end products.
The crisis in the egg supply market will be in the spotlight at the forthcoming Bakery Formulation Virtual Conference, which is being organized by Foodnavigator.com and Bakeryandsnacks.com. Soren Norgaard, Senior Manager at Arla Foods Ingredients, will address online delegates on the subject of ‘Reducing total ingredient costs through egg alternatives’.
The Virtual Conference takes place on Thursday 29 March 2012. More information is available at bakeryformulationconference.com.