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AEB Publishes Nielsen Statistics for November 2020


The American Egg Board published Nielsen data reflecting 2020 year-to-date (YTD) sales and consumption for the week ending November 28th 2020. 


  • For year-to-date (YTD) 2020, retail sales of all eggs expressed as egg equivalents increased 8.4 percent over 2019.  Dollar value was 19.3 percent higher than in 2019.  Per capita consumption advanced to 285.7 eggs representing a 2.7 percent decline over 2019.


  • Year-to-date retail shell-egg sales attained 3.24 billion egg equivalent dozens representing a 7.6 percent increase in volume and 12.4 percent in dollar value.  Egg alternatives including liquid, frozen and powdered egg products converted to equivalent dozens attained 89.4 million a 6.6 percent increase over 2019 and a 7.6 percent increase in dollar value.  Year-to-date, hard boiled egg sales attained 27.6 million dozen equivalents amounting to a 14.0 percent decline in volume and an 12.1 percent decline in value.


  • In classifying retail sales by product segment, conventional eggs represented 85.8 percent, cage-free 11.4 percent and organic 2.7 percent.  Year to date conventional eggs increased 6.7 percent in volume and 18.9 percent in value.  Cage-free eggs increased 19.9 percent in volume and were almost equivalent at 19.6 percent in value.  Organic eggs increased 18.4 percent in volume and 23.1 percent in value.


  • With a respect to volume of other than generic shell eggs, YTD branded eggs comprised 29.0 percent of retail sales compared to 71 percent for private label.  Branded eggs generated 42.1 percent of dollar value compared to private label at 57.9 percent.  Branded eggs increased by 14.8 percent in volume and 24.0 percent in value.


  • In analyzing retail channels, YTD compared to 2019, supermarkets and groceries increased by 7.1 percent, drugstores declined by 2.3 percent, convenience stores were up by 2.6 percent and the combination of club stores and dollar stores increased by 10.9 percent presumably with the largest contribution from big-box clubs.


In reviewing current USDA data there are 63 million hens producing cage-free eggs, excluding non-confined hens under the Certified Organic program. This complement of hens represents 28 percent of an assumed population of 225 million hens in the shell egg segment of production. If USDA data on hens under cage-free housing (aviaries and barns) are accurate and accepting the Nielsen data indicating a sales proportion of 11.4 percent for this category, more than half of cage-free eggs are down-marketed. If the Nielsen data is accurate the situation with Certified Organic is even more extreme with 7.6 percent of 225 million hens producing under the category but representing 2.7 percent of shell egg sales YTD. The differences between potential production and recorded sales cannot be ascribed to use of cage-free and organic eggs in egg liquids. The nominal (pre-COVID) complement of hens producing eggs for the breaking segment is estimated at 95 million, predominantly as generics.