National Mood – Seeking Comfort Through Food

National Mood – Seeking Comfort Through Food

American Egg Board Breaks Down Comfort Food Trend in New White Paper Examining this Multifaceted Category

CHICAGO, IL (Sep 1, 2020)

A new white paper from the American Egg Board examines the psychological impact of comfort foods, the categories growing most rapidly, and the product characteristics successful comfort foods share in common. People reap a genuine psychological boost from consuming comfort foods and the category is experiencing a rapid surge. Although commonly associated with snacks and baked goods, comfort foods can be found in almost any product segment depending on its nostalgic ties to pleasant memories.

The paper, “Comfort & Convenience: Consumers Reach for it All,” shows how consumers have merged their desire for comfort foods with convenience trends to save time while juggling extra responsibilities, including more food preparation at home. Comfort foods also further the growing tendency toward authentic ingredients and traceability, as comfort foods are overwhelmingly associated with familiar kitchen staples.

Eggs, a formulary staple due to their wide-ranging functional benefits and nutritional composition, supply a versatile, authentic ingredient for a host of comfort food product types. Egg products, such as liquid or dried whole eggs, egg yolks and egg whites are common ingredients in baked goods and a welcome addition to protein-forward snacks. Prepared egg products, such as patties or scrambles, can be inserted seamlessly into production lines for frozen or refrigerated breakfast foods. Sales indexes for frozen breakfast foods, for example, were up 50% for the month ending 4/5/2020.*


Eggsaminer keeps an eye on trends

The comfort food white paper is the focus of the American Egg Board’s latest Eggsaminer, a product development resource for food manufacturers. The Eggsaminer regularly takes an in-depth look at product trends and the ways formulators and marketers can or are responding to the sometimes rapidly pivoting consumer market. This issue takes a deep dive into the sudden uptick in demand for comfort foods. Eggs often feature prominently in comfort food as an authentic, highly functional and valuable nutritional component. The white paper looks at new products, the latest nutritional research, and profiles functional aspects of egg ingredients.

“While consumers initially turned to comfort food without regard for calories, there are already indicators pointing to a return to greater health consciousness,” said Elisa Maloberti, the AEB’s director of egg product marketing. “The challenge for formulators is to create the comfort food texture, look and flavor within a better-for-you formulation. A functional ingredient like the egg, with its high protein content and nutritional profile, can help in this regard.”

Find out how REAL egg products contribute to comfort foods of all types by downloading the latest white paper from the American Egg Board. Go to incredibleegg.org. Read the latest issue of the Eggsaminer or find past issues by visiting incredibleegg.org/professionals/manufacturers/product-development/eggsaminer-newsletter.


About the American Egg Board (AEB)

Home of the Incredible Egg, the AEB is the U.S. egg industry’s national commodity marketing board. The AEB’s mission is to increase demand for eggs and egg products through research, education and promotion. The Egg Nutrition Center is the science and education division of the AEB. The AEB is located in Chicago, Ill. For more, visit incredibleegg.org

 

*https://www.supermarketnews.com/center-store/frozen-foods-become-sales-powerhouse-during-coronavirus-pandemic

Fall 2020 Eggsaminer

COMFORT FOODS ON THE RISE

The stress, anxiety and uncertainty of current times has more people reaching for comfort foods to alleviate these feelings and provide consolation along with a sense of well-being. Comfort foods are often convenient, affordable, have nostalgic or sentimental appeal, and are associated with home cooking. All-natural, multifunctional, eggs are both a comfort food as in – soft scrambled eggs – and an essential ingredient in many comforting baked goods like chocolate chip cookies and angel food cake.

 

Find out what’s driving comfort food sales, the most rapidly growing categories, characteristics successful comfort foods share in common, and more.

High-quality protein plus unique nutritional profile

While eggs definitely qualify as a comfort food – think soft scrambled eggs and toast – they’re also a nutrient-rich, high-quality source of protein. One large egg has six grams of protein, only 70 calories and a host of beneficial nutrients. Read more about the incredible nutrition profile of eggs and emerging research on potential health benefits of nutrients, such as lutein, choline and zeaxanthin.

Where to Buy
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American Egg Board Presents Next Incredible Egg Trend: Desserts with Fany Gerson

American Egg Board Presents Next Incredible Egg Trend: Desserts with Fany Gerson

New York City Chef Reinvents the Dessert Menu to Bring Unexpected Flavors to the Familiar

CHICAGO (Aug 26, 2020)

Featuring Chef Fany Gerson of La Newyorkina, the newest chapter of the American Egg Board (AEB) Incredible Egg Trends series spotlights “Desserts” and the ways chefs can add on-trend flavors to these menu items.

According to Datassential 2019 Dessert Keynote Report, consumer demand for this classic meal part to evolve grows every day. Two in five consumers say they are interested in more globally inspired dessert flavors — especially Millennials and Gen X consumers. The same report shows savory ingredients are some of the fastest-growing terms on dessert menus (i.e., salted caramel, sea salt, olive oil and bacon). 

The Reinvention of Desserts on the menu

“We see an opportunity for chefs willing to step outside of expectation on desserts. Our next Incredible Egg Trends (IET) brings dessert, often an afterthought, to the forefront of innovation and creativity,” said Phaedra Ruffalo, senior director, market development at the AEB. “At La Newyorkina, Chef Fany Gerson infuses her heritage into consumer favorite sweets, making her the perfect chef to carry this trend rooted in nostalgia. Paired with the natural, multifunctional eggs, dessert menus are poised for reinvention.”

From globally inspired desserts to savory ingredients in classic sweets, chefs can glean inspiration on how to add in unexpected elements into their dessert menu with this chapter of Incredible Egg Trends with Chef Fany Gerson.

Chef Gerson bridges cultures with nostalgic treats

Known as one of the culinary leading voices on Mexican desserts, Fany Gerson launched her artisanal frozen treats and sweets company, La Newyorkina, in 2010.  Six years later, she opened her first brick and mortar shop to share authentic Mexican treats with West Village and beyond. This Culinary Institute of America grad has also written three books: My Sweet Mexico, Paletas and Mexican Ice Cream. Her work has garnered recognition across the industry, including being recognized as a Latin woman leader in 2017 by El Diario and receiving a nomination James Beard Award 2010 for Best baking and pastry cookbook. 

“I celebrate Mexican culture, so it’s about bringing and showcasing a lot of those flavors through the sweets that I make,” said Chef Fany Gerson. “My philosophy comes together in this dish in the way that we take classic American desserts like a key lime pie, and then we have this filling that’s very tart from the passion fruit, which is common in Mexico. Right, so then this is something that bridges both cultures.”     

View additional Desserts content

In addition to Gerson’s twist on the key lime pie, the new IET chronicle includes five other recipes developed for restauranteurs: Sweet Lavender Omelet, Saffron Cream Puffs, Blue Cheese Flan, Brioche Bread and Sesame Meringue.

Operators can find these six recipes and five menu concepts from other restaurants along with Chef Gerson’s video, as well as research and tips related to the desserts trend at: https://www.incredibleegg.org/professionals/incredible-egg-trends/desserts.

To request an interview or photos, please contact Kitty Kevin at 815.398.6850 or kkevin@quietlightcom.com.

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Boosting Breakfast Business

How To Menu

SELLING YOUR SELECTIONS

Once you’ve chosen your menu mix with must-have and signature items, the next step is conveying their uniqueness. Here you elevate the ordinary by broadening its appeal and concentrating on what’s extraordinary about it. Learning what language to use on your menu to connect with diners is what will set your restaurant apart and keep customers coming back.

MENU STORYTELLING TIPS

Get descriptive when writing about your food and use words that evoke emotion but avoid getting long-winded. Consider just one or two of the following menu writing tips to whet the appetite of your time-starved customers.

TIP: ADD VALUE TO AN ITEM BY NOTING ITS ORIGIN

Cheddar cheese is a straightforward way to describe the type of cheese. It does the job but doesn’t really tell its story. Using a few more modifiers, you can cue diners in to the quality of the ingredient being used. This will let them know they’re getting something quite special.

This elevates your menu item to a premium position, which might enable you to command a premium price. If there’s a story to be told, get specific about an ingredient’s origin, i.e., Eagle Valley Farm Bacon. Any cultural or geographic reference, like “Spanish,” “Cajun,” or “Peruvian,” will add value.

TIP: CONSIDER GIVING A LITTLE BACKSTORY

Is a menu item a family recipe? How long has it been in the family?

Is it something you came up with while traveling? What inspired you to create the dish?

Example: Church Street BBQ Chicken Pizza – a family favorite on our annual trips to Burlington, Vermont.

Also, nostalgic terms can help build a story, like homestyle, traditional or Grandma’s.

Feel free to get specific about the cut, breed, method of raising or harvesting of items on your menu.

Examples: Berkshire Pork Chop, Grass-Fed Beef, Hand-Picked Oranges, Line-Caught Trout

TIP: ELABORATE ON PREPARATION METHODS

Pork Chops become Wood-Fire-Grilled Porkchops.

TIP: DESCRIBE TEXTURE

TIP: AVOID THE OBVIOUS

There are certain descriptors that are assumed, such as “fresh,” “made in house,” vegetables “from the garden,” or “grilled just right.”

TIP: GIVE A NOD TO DIETARY REGIMENS

If it pertains, let your customer know if the dish satisfies their dietary preferences.

  • Organic
  • Gluten free
  • Farm-raised
  • Locally sourced

Made with REAL Eggs® Seals

Enhance your menu with our Made with REAL Eggs® seal. Add it to menu descriptions or place it on menu boards, fresh prepared foods, and prepackaged grab n’ go items. The Made with REAL Eggs® seal quickly and positively communicates to diners that menu items are made with all-natural, U.S.-produced REAL eggs.

 

Give your patrons confidence in the quality and authenticity of your menu items by using this complimentary seal.

 

How To Market

CREATING BREAKFAST BUZZ

Despite these unsettling times, people miss dining out. They really wouldn’t mind letting someone else do their cooking. What they lack, though, is a compelling reason to return to their morning breakfast routine away from home. So, that’s what our Boosting Breakfast Business program is all about – reinvigorating the morning daypart and giving people a reason to order breakfast out again.

Here are some promotional thought-starter ideas to stir up excitement in the breakfast hours and help re-establish customer loyalty. Take these ideas, add your own spin – because no one knows your customers better – and let’s start boosting your breakfast business.    

FEEL GOOD PROMOS

Everyone knows it’s better to give than to receive. With that in mind, here are a few ideas to inspire your marketing efforts.  

  • Get One Give One – GOGO – Support essential workers or local organizations feeding community members in need. For every sandwich purchased another is given.
  • Social Breakfasting – Offer promotional pricing for ‘social breakfast’ sandwich takeout orders. Customer buys one for themselves and a second to share with a friend – they deliver it via a “porch drop.” For delivery orders: Customer gets one sandwich delivered, and a second sandwich is delivered to their friend. Give an incentive to the friend to order a sandwich for someone else to continue the social spread.

VALUE FOR VOLUME

Sometimes all people need is an incentive to change their behavior. Try something like one of these to give them a nudge.

  • Create a Breakfast Box (combo meal) and offer free delivery for each Breakfast Box order. Create boxes for individuals or families. Consider set prices for sandwich + side and sandwich + side + beverage box combos.
  • Now & Later Offer: Buy one sandwich get a second to freeze for later. The extra sandwich comes wrapped ready for the freezer. EAT ME NOW and EAT ME LATER stickers add to the fun.
  • Price breaks: There’s nothing like a bargain to get people’s attention. Offer value pricing on a breakfast sandwich or feature a buy one breakfast item and get another half off.

LOYALTY BUILDERS

Give customers a reason to return regularly for breakfast.  

  • Limited-Time Offers (LTOs): An LTO program gives diners a reason to stop in. And lets you offer seasonal or experimental items. Promote LTOs with “try it while it lasts” or “get it before it’s gone” or “limited time only” signage to encourage trial. LTOs are exciting for diners and give you an opportunity to try out new menu items or ingredients.
  • B&B Subscriptions: Your customers will want to get out of bed for this! Offer a monthly Breakfast Sandwich & Beverage subscription. For a set fee, subscribers get a weekly sandwich and beverage from an exclusive subscription-only menu.

How To Make

MENU MUST-HAVES!

One key to a successful breakfast operation is meeting diner expectations. You need to give them what they want. And that’s why we’re going to focus on the two main menu categories every breakfast operation MUST have right now – sandwiches and bowls. Within these categories, we’ll also share a few ideas on creating signature items for your operation that will give diners reasons to return regularly.

We’ll be adding to this lineup often, so check back frequently to get the latest insights and ideas.

 

BREAKFAST SANDWICHES 101

WHY SANDWICHES?

The answer is simple. Breakfast sandwiches are the most popular item when eating breakfast away from home. Sandwiches dominate breakfast – because they’re easy to eat on the go or take along anywhere. From basic and affordable to indulgent and premium, breakfast sandwiches are comfort food. Diners pair them with a beverage, and it’s a meal for any time of day. Let’s not forget, sandwiches offer you advantages, as well, in terms of food cost, speed, ease of cooking and assembly.

A.M. SANDWICH STATS

  • #1 Breakfast Menu Item: Breakfast Sandwiches (Source: NPD/CREST® OND’19)
  • According to top operators, breakfast handhelds are the best-selling items, followed by egg entrées (Source: Datassential Breakfast Keynote Report, October 2019)
  • Breakfast sandwiches are not just critical to places with a drive-thru, as most of the growth in breakfast sandwiches is coming from full-service. (Source: Datassential Breakfast Keynote Report, October 2019)

MUST-HAVES

TOP 3 MOST POPULAR BREAKFAST SANDWICHES:

 

1. Bacon, egg and cheese

2. Sausage, egg and cheese

3. Ham, egg and cheese

 

Nearly every restaurant offering breakfast sandwiches has a variation of one or all of these. Of course, you can offer just a classic egg and cheese sandwich, as well. Having the basics is important, because in the consumer’s mind, according to Datassential, a ‘good breakfast sandwich’ hinges on having eggs, bacon and cheese.

BEST EGG PREPARATIONS FOR BREAKFAST SANDWICHES

  • Fried (over-medium or over-hard)
  • Scrambled
  • Omelets are a great way to get inclusions and cheese into one preparation
  • Bake up a sheet pan of eggs or frittata cut into squares and put on a sandwich
  • Fold an omelet 4 x 4, diner style

EGG FORMATS AVAILABLE FOR USE IN BREAKFAST SANDWICHES

  • Shell eggs
  • Liquid eggs (whole egg, and egg white only to meet special dietary requests)
  • Value-added egg patties (with veggie + meat inclusions)

SIGNATURE BREAKFAST SANDWICHES

Differentiate your restaurant with something no one else has. By putting a twist on a common sandwich element, you give customers a safe way to experiment, while still enjoying something familiar.

 

Get ideas from these creative twists now trending on menus:

(Datassential Breakfast Keynote)

  • Nontraditional condiments or sauces (maple syrup, hollandaise, salsa verde)
  • Vegetable toppings/components (arugula, roasted tomato, caramelized onion)
  • Nontraditional carriers (donuts, eggs, lettuce)
  • Global cheeses (cotija, Parmesan, Gouda)
  • Premium meats (brisket, pork belly, prosciutto)

Use these recipes as inspiration or the basis for your own signature breakfast sandwich:

Incredible Egg Trend – Desserts

Unexpected

No mere afterthought, dessert is cloaked in expectations – from a craving for a familiar favorite to a yen for the exotic. Chefs are rising to the challenge by reinventing classic desserts with seasonal, regional, ethnic and even savory flavor twists, then matching them with a mixture of textures. The result is an unexpected sensory delight.

Natural, multifunctional eggs are go-to dessert ingredients.

TIPS & TRICKS

“One of the tips I have for chefs using eggs in desserts is pairing the whisk to the application. Using different kinds [of whisks] for different applications makes a big difference. You have a lot of whisks that have a sort of balloon shape. This is going to add a lot of air. If you want a lot of air in whatever application you’re doing, then use that. You really have to play around with different ones. I find if you’re going to get one whisk for most applications – a medium whisk is a very good all-around option.”


— Chef Fany Gerson

DID YOU KNOW?

  • Eggs possess more than 20 incredible functional properties – from aeration to binding to emulsification and browning – which are essential in creating many delicious desserts.
  • Eggs contain more than 100 volatile flavor components, although the final taste may be described as mild or bland. However, egg yolks contain fats that can carry and assist with the release of other ingredient flavors within a formulation. 1,2 
  • Egg whites, unlike any other natural food ingredient, create foam six to eight times greater than their original liquid volume.
  • There are more than 40 different proteins in a whole egg, some located only in the white and others predominantly in the yolk.
  • Coagulation indicates a change from liquid to a solid or semisolid state. Egg proteins have excellent coagulative properties that give custards, puddings and flans their smooth, creamy textures.

1. Stadelmen WJ and Cotterill OJ. (1995). Egg Science and Technology, Fourth Edition, Haworth Press, Inc., New York, USA


2. Vaclavik V, Christian E. (2007). Essentials of Food Science, Springer Science & Business Media

 

The American Egg Board Unveils Three New How-To Videos for School Nutrition Directors

The American Egg Board Unveils Three New How-To Videos for School Nutrition Directors

Eggs In Schools How-To Video Series Aims to Support Real School Programs as New Year Begins

CHICAGO (Aug 12, 2020)

To support school nutrition directors remotely training staff, the American Egg Board (AEB) has released the first installment of its How-To-Make Eggs In Schools video series, featuring the versatility of eggs in real school meals.  

As part of the AEB’s REAL Support for Schools, this series is designed with K-12 equipment and needs in mind. School nutrition directors and staff can increase their egg knowledge and hone their culinary skills, all from the comfort of home.

“School nutrition programs have been on the frontlines of the pandemic, dedicated to making sure students get nutritious food despite school closures,” said Maribel Alchin, M.B.A., R.D.N., L.D.N., manager of school and college marketing at the AEB. “As some districts reopen school doors and others remain virtual this fall, we wanted to support their efforts to serve food safely, and these videos equip staff with the tools they need to incorporate a versatile, affordable ingredient like eggs into school meals.”

The first installment of the series contains three videos that cover the following topics: Overview of Eggs, Hard-Boiled Eggs and Liquid Eggs. The Overview of Eggs video shares rules for K-12 schools on buying shell eggs as outlined by the USDA Food Buying Guide and covers pasteurization and best practices for handling shell eggs.

The Hard-Boiled Eggs video takes viewers through efficient ways to scale preparation of this versatile protein for school meals. The final video talks through how to handle ready-to-use Liquid Whole Eggs and how to convert recipes featuring shell eggs to accommodate this easier-to-store product.

Find this How-to-Make Eggs In Schools video series and more REAL support on how to menu and market eggs: incredibleegg.org/professionals/k-12-schools/.

To request an interview or photos, please contact Kitty Kevin at 815.398.6850 or kkevin@quietlightcom.com.

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