The egg category is showing good growth thanks to younger men eating more.

Egg consumption was up 1.5% to three billion occasions in the 12 months to August 2009 [TNS], the latest available data. That helped market value rise 1.9% to £745m.

Children, who under-index on eggs against total food, ate 3% more, 17 to 34-year-old men ate 9% more and 35 to 44-year-old men ate 12% more. Women aged 17 to 34 increased their consumption by 2%.

"In 2009 the removal of limits on egg consumption by all heart and health advisory groups benefited sales," said the British Egg Information Service. "Consumers are increasingly recognising the nutritional benefits of eating eggs as well as seeing them as a cost-effective meal."

Although breakfast remains the key meal occasion (37%), home lunches and evening meals (both 24%) are also gaining in popularity [TNS].