by Mike Hostetler / Director of Consumer Insights, American Egg Board
Eggs are an essential player in every kitchen and in many popular holiday recipes. They are already on most shopping lists, so take advantage of their popularity and versatility by adding them to in-store promotions and outbound ads around holiday baking, meal prep and entertaining – and drive incremental sales at the holidays.
Keeping eggs top of mind for consumers during the holiday season is a smart play for retailers. In addition to being a perennial best-seller – how many lists have you made that include eggs, bread and milk? – data indicate eggs can also drive additional purchases:
A recent NielsenIQ Homescan Panel analysis shows that the average retail basket size is nearly twice as large when eggs are purchased. Specifically, the data show that when people buy eggs, the average grocery trip ticket total rises from under $50 to more than $98.
In some cases, the higher spend reflects a regular stock-up trip. In others, however, it’s likely that once the customer picked up eggs, they thought of reasons to purchase other items. This is especially true during the holidays. In fact, in-store visibility for eggs during the holidays offers opportunities to substantially boost sales: 1) Shoppers will think of reasons why they need more eggs, and 2) shoppers will think of other items they need to pick up as complementary items.
Promoting eggs at the holidays can help drive incremental sales
If a shopper is prompted to pick up some eggs, they may pause and begin thinking of what they’re going to bake or cook. That, in turn, leads to a trip down the baking needs or other aisles to get the rest of a recipe’s ingredients, such as vegetables, sausage and cheese for a breakfast casserole to feed out-of-town guests, or flour, butter and sugar for baking holiday treats.
Eggs in the basket may also trigger a need to keep more eggs on hand at the holidays – a perfect reminder about that upcoming event where they need to bring a dessert or that club gathering where they’re on the list for an appetizer. Whatever the reason, adding eggs to the shopping basket leads to higher total sales for the retailer.
Simple ways to drive holiday sales with eggs
Showcasing eggs is good business throughout the year, and holidays are a perfect time to call even more attention to them. Baking and larger batch cooking will be on the upswing now through early January as more people entertain and families gather for meals, and people make and take desserts, casseroles and other dishes to gatherings of all kinds. Capture a piece of that activity by adding eggs to promotional materials – it’s as easy as cooking or baking with eggs, themselves. Some ideas include:
- Add eggs to regular, in-store and digital sales flyers and other ad copy.
- Put extra emphasis on baking ideas, inspiration and recipes and highlight eggs in promotions that feature other holiday baking staples like flour and sugar.
- Provide recipes for holiday favorites like eggnog or popular appetizers like deviled eggs in holiday-related customer engagement content.
Any of these ideas – and you’ll undoubtedly have more – highlight eggs as a pantry essential. Reminding shoppers that having eggs on hand means not coming up short when it’s time to bake a cake, prepare a casserole or just whip up a platter of deviled eggs will be helpful and appreciated during the hectic holidays. This has the added benefit of building brand loyalty, where the grocery store is more than a place to shop; it’s a source of ideas and inspiration.
Capitalize on this holiday season’s uptick around more parties and gatherings
Eggs are a shopping essential, this time of year more than ever. And this particular year, that’s especially important. We’ve seen shoppers coming back into stores, and that activity is mirrored in the world at large. Based on a recent study by Datassential, a food and beverage insight company, fewer than 30 percent of consumers plan to celebrate the holidays at home with just immediate friends and family. Additionally, AAA forecasted a 13 percent increase in Thanksgiving travel for 2021 compared to 2020. Consumers are planning to gather and socialize this holiday season.
People are eager to create fun, safe, in-person gatherings for friends, family and professional colleagues, and eggs play a critical role in those plans. In a normal holiday season, a shopper might get one or two dozen extra so they can cook and bake for holiday parties and events. This year, they may be attending more, so they’ll need to up the egg purchase. If they’re reminded of that when they are in the store, or when they receive their digital communications, they’re likely to add eggs to the basket – and a host of other items.
Eggs offer limitless possibilities to consumers. They appear in dishes served at every meal and in everything from appetizers to casseroles to desserts to seasonal favorites like eggnog. They’re often the first thing people learn to cook as a child, so shoppers’ connection to them is lifelong. Drawing attention to eggs is an easy way to spur sales in other areas of the store, as well as keep shoppers on-premises longer, both of which lead to better brand engagement and higher sales. Let eggs elevate shopper engagement by helping you make grocery shopping a part of your shoppers’ overall holiday experience.
Mike Hostetler is director of consumer insights for the American Egg Board, where he is responsible for integrated consumer, market and industry research and intelligence. He has more than 15 years of food industry experience leading insights generation at top CPGs, including Kellogg, McCormick & Co., Kraft Heinz and, most recently, Perdue. He holds a bachelor’s degree in actuarial science from Butler University and an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
 Client calculation based in part on data reported by NielsenIQ through its Homescan Panel Service for the chicken egg category for the 52-week period ending 7/31/21, for Total US All Outlets.