Retail egg sales are growing at their fastest rate since the 1950s as Brits put salmonella and cholesterol fears behind them and embrace high-protein diets.

The Grocer reported in the summer that eggs were benefiting from growing consumer interest in high-protein diets, with consumption at breakfast up 9.6% and suppliers reporting ­surging demand.

Latest sales figures from the British Egg Industry Council (BEIC) have confirmed this trend continued throughout the year, with retail sales up 5% in 2015 -equating to 275 million more eggs [Kantar Worldpanel 52 w/e 3 January 2016]. This follows eight consecutive years of rising egg sales, but represents the fastest growth rate for over 60 years.

The BEIC claims the “scares over salmonella and confusion around cholesterol” that previously put shoppers off are now a thing of the past.

“Our research also shows that eggs are now firmly established in the minds of consumers as a great-tasting, healthy, nutrition-packed and versatile option for all age groups,” said BEIC chairman Andrew Joret.

Eggs rivalled avocados as one of the most ‘Instagrammed’ foods of 2015, suggesting there was “huge scope” for future growth, he added.

“With research showing that there has also been an increase in the consumption of eggs among younger consumers, and more and more people discovering the benefits of eggs in general, this upwards trend isn’t set to slow down any time soon.”

Soaring demand for eggs is encouraging producers to invest. Scottish free-range egg farmer James Baxter, who supplies the Happy Egg Brand, announced this week he had embarked on a £1.5m expansion after securing funding from Clydesdale Bank, with plans to double production in two years.