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Opportunity for Egg-Based Snacks


Bee Wilson writing in the Saturday June 9th edition of The Wall Street Journal quantified the market for “between meal” snack foods.  It is estimated that during the period extending from 2002 to 2012 the market for wrapped snack bars in the U.S. doubled to $6 billion, representing approximately 12 percent of the total savory snack food market including potato chips and pretzels.


 The manufacturers of snack bars have identified a guilt factor associated with eating between meals.  By emphasizing the health aspects of products including low sugar and caloric content with protein enrichment, “health” bars have become an important component of the U.S. diet.  The market is characterized by diversity and a high degree of specialization appealing to demographics including athletes, travelers, commuters and those too involved in their lifestyle to eat regular meals.


The most revealing statistic in the article was that Dr. Barry Popkin, Professor of Nutrition at the University of North Carolina has determined that the average American child consumes 450 calories each day from snacks.  This represents an opportunity for creative food scientists to develop egg-based snack foods for children and adults. The inherent nutritional benefits of eggs including amino acid composition, vitamin content and essential fatty acids could be supplemented with additional nutrients.  The challenge will be to produce a consumer-acceptable, shelf-stable snack bars at a price which competes with current and projected products. 


Perhaps the Egg Nutrition Center of the AEB might be motivated to fund development of products by food science departments of Land Grant institutions.  If the attributes of taste, texture, and nutrient content can be combined, food processors will apply technology and create an additional market for eggs and egg products.