The egg market has seen considerable volatility in recent months and years, not only in the form of shell eggs, but for dried, frozen and liquid egg products as well. Since mid-January 2018, nest run egg pricing saw a 121% price increase and are now priced more than four times what they were a year ago. Dried egg yolk remains 66% higher than a year ago and frozen yolks rose nearly 100%. Liquid white prices have more than doubled in 2018 alone.
This is in contrast to summer of 2017 when the country saw an egg surplus and prices dipped. The volatility in the egg market is due to several contributing factors, including Avian flu outbreaks that halted production in many facilities. Many retailers have been waging price wars on eggs as well, leading to higher consumer consumption. With consumer demand on the rise, especially for cage-free varieties, the pricing wars will likely be unsustainable for the long term.
Food Manufacturers Look For Egg Alternatives
No matter what form of eggs are used in their applications, food manufacturers are finding it difficult to retain profits in an unstable market that sees such dramatic fluctuations. Even if egg prices drop to record lows, most companies aren’t willing to increase egg usage for fear of prices escalating to record levels again.
Those wishing to even out ingredient costs with a price-stable egg alternative in their applications are looking to functional whey protein as a solution. Let’s take a look at two common food categories that contain eggs and examine how functional whey protein can serve as a viable solution for reducing or replacing eggs in each application.
Egg Replacements in Sandwich Spreads & Salad Dressings
The selection of salad dressings and sandwich spreads on grocery store shelves is continually expanding with new varieties and flavor profiles entering the market on a consistent basis. This trend isn’t slowing, and the dressings and spreads market is expecting rapid growth in the next eight years.
Many of the new products being offered are catering to consumer demands for clean labels and all-natural ingredients. Traditionally, eggs and oil have been used as emulsifiers and to give the products their rich, creamy taste and texture. While considered natural ingredients, they’re high in cost, calories and fat.
Grande Custom Ingredients Group conducted a controlled demonstration using all-natural Grande Bravo® functional whey protein in place of egg yolk in a sandwich spread application. As you can see in this video demonstration, the superior water-holding capabilities of Grande Bravo was able to replicate the texture and consistency of egg yolks in the application. What can’t be seen is that the flavor and mouthfeel weren’t compromised even though the calorie and fat content were minimized. The major difference, however, was the lower cost of ingredients. Grande Bravo’s price remains stable throughout volatile market conditions.
Egg Replacements in Baked Goods
Another application where egg products are used widely is baked goods. Cookies, muffins, breads, pastries, cakes and more typically require eggs to give them structure and richness. However, Grande Bravo functional whey protein once again can completely replace eggs in many of these applications, as is shown in another recipe video demonstration of chocolate chip cookies.
The benefits of using functional whey protein in place of eggs goes far beyond cost savings. Formulators can boast about improved nutrition with lower fat and calories, and about using a sustainable product that is ethically sourced throughout a strict chain of custody. Also, when compared to commodity whey protein, Grande Bravo simply works better by providing superior functionality and water-holding capabilities to ensure that signature flavor profiles aren’t compromised.
Using ingredients that experience price volatility is a gamble for food manufacturers that want to even out cash flow and remain competitive. Reformulating applications to include functional whey protein in place of eggs and other high-cost items such as cream, butter and oil is a solution that can help manufacturers rein in costs and delight consumers by maintaining flavor, texture and clean labels with ingredients they trust. Watch another egg replacement video demonstration by clicking the link below, and contact the food scientists at Grande Custom Ingredients Group to discover how Grande Bravo can improve your formulation and your bottom line.