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AEB Circulates Updated Nielsen Statistics for June 2022


The American Egg Board (AEB) circulates Nielsen retail sales data as a service to the industry. The latest report released July 28th reflected 52-week rolling sales and consumption of eggs and egg products for the week ending June 18th 2022.  Nielsen data captures retail volume and sales value of shell eggs, consumer-packed liquid and hard-boiled peeled eggs. Data is derived from supermarkets, groceries, Dollar outlets, drug and convenience stores all with annual sales in excess of $2 million. Some club warehouses provide data but Costco is excluded.


The data assembled by Nielsen and distributed by the AEB for the past 52-weeks to June 18th documented sales of 3.11 billion dozen egg-equivalents in all retail presentations over the 52-week period. This represents 40.3 percent of projected and updated USDA data for calendar 2022 egg production totaling 8.17 billion dozen eggs for shell, liquid and exports. According to USDA data the shell-egg segment of the industry comprised 67.6 percent of all U.S. egg production for the week ending July 27th.


  • For the 52-week period in 2021-2022, retail sales of all shell-egg categories (shell, consumer liquid, hard boiled) expressed as egg-equivalents decreased by 4.8 percent from the corresponding previous 52 weeks.  Dollar value was 15.2 percent lower to $7,462 million. Projected per capita consumption in 2022 will attain 277.3 eggs representing a 1.2 percent decrease from the 2021 period as a result of flock depletion due to HPAI and depressed sales in 2021 as a result of COVID restrictions. Direct price comparisons are distorted by the late March and April 2020 panic buying in response to COVID and late second quarter 2022 price rises due to HPAI.
  • On a rolling 52-week basis, the volume captured by Nielsen comprising retail shell-egg sales attained 2,982 million egg-equivalent dozens. Shell egg value at retail was $6,969 million with an average 2021-22 unit value of $2.33 per dozen. Egg alternatives including liquid, frozen and powdered egg products converted to equivalent dozens attained 91.7 million dozen equivalents, a 2.6 percent decline over the previous 52-week period and a 0.1 percent decrease in value to $304.6 million corresponding to a unit value of $3.32 per dozen. Rolling 52-week hard-boiled peeled egg sales attained 35.6 million dozen, with a 14.2 percent increase in volume and a disproportional 17.2 percent increase in value to $188 million compared to the previous 52-week period reflecting a 4 cent unit price of $5.30 per dozen in 2021.


  • In classifying retail sales by product segment, conventional  (caged) eggs represented 73.0 percent and cage-free 18.0 percent. Free-range and pastured combined amounted to 8.9 percent. This figure is however based on loose and inconsistent definitions of these categories of housing with evident deficiencies in capture of sales data. Rolling 52-week conventional (non-organic) egg sales decreased 11.3 percent in volume but were 25.0 percent higher in value.


  • The report indicated that 7.1 percent of shell eggs were marketed under the USDA Certified Organic shield up 2.5 percent in volume and 7.0 percent in value.


  • With respect to volume of other than generic shell eggs, 52-week rolling branded egg sales comprised 30.0 percent of retail sales compared to 70.0 percent for private label.  Branded eggs generated 39.1 percent of dollar value compared to private label at 60.9 percent.  Branded eggs declined by 0.4 percent in volume and increased 18.8 percent in value over the past 52 weeks.


  • In analyzing retail channels for shell eggs, 52-week rolling values compared to the previous period in 2021 documented that supermarkets and groceries (58.1 percent of sales) decreased by 3.5 percent, drugstores (0.1 percent of sales) lower by 26.0 percent, convenience stores (1.1 percent of sales) were down by 6.8 percent and the combination of club stores and Dollar stores (40.6 percent, excluding Costco, an important deletion given their volume) increased by 0.6 percent presumably with the largest contribution from big-box club stores other than Costco.


In reviewing June 2022 USDA data there were on average 88.5 million hens in barns and aviary houses during the month producing cage-free eggs, in addition to 18.0 million non-caged hens under the Certified Organic program in aviaries, barns and extensive (free-range and pasture) housing. The complement of cage-free hens represented 32.9 percent of an assumed population of 225 million hens in the shell-egg segment of production prior to HPAI depletion. If USDA data on hens under cage-free housing (aviaries and barns) are accurate and accepting the Nielsen data indicating a sales proportion of 18.0 percent for eggs derived from non-caged flocks, (excluding 8.9 percent free-range and pasture) more than half of cage-free eggs are down-marketed to conventional brown and white shelled product. If the Nielsen data is accurate the situation with Certified Organic is different with 18.0 million hens (8.0 percent of 225 million) producing under the category in June but representing 7.1 percent of shell egg sales for the rolling year to June 18th 2022 suggesting proportionally higher sales of certified organic eggs relative to production.


The differences between potential production and recorded sales adjusted for the Nielsen capture cannot be ascribed to the use of cage-free and organic eggs to produce egg liquids. The nominal complement of hens producing eggs for the breaking segment is estimated at 105 million, pre depletion of 31.1 million due to HPAI, predominantly as generics.