Targeting the Tech-Savvy 30s and 40s, these eye-friendly eggs contain approximately three times more lutein, a nutrient known as lutein, than regular eggs. In a market where price competition and added value options such as vitamin C fortification and cage-free eggs are prevalent, this represents a new innovation. While cage-free eggs are less common compared to Europe, will these new health-focused eggs bring about a shift in the competitive landscape of the egg market?”

M.E.C. Foods, based in Ichihara City, Chiba Prefecture, which specializes in the production and sale of chicken eggs, has developed and is promoting eggs rich in the nutrient “lutein,” considered “eye-friendly.” The chicken egg industry has long been characterized by fierce competition and thin profit margins. However, M.E.C. Foods aims to expand its market by appealing to health-conscious cafe chains and the high-consumption Asian market with high-value eggs emphasizing their “eye-friendly” properties.

M.E.C. Foods, which has developed eggs containing significantly more lutein than conventional eggs, launched their “Recipe: Gourmet Eggs” last spring. Lutein is believed to protect the eyes from various diseases by shielding them from light stimulation, although its levels decrease with age or prolonged exposure to blue light.

The company believes that the demand for lutein is increasing in today’s digital society and has developed eggs by incorporating lutein into the chickens’ feed. They also include other health-conscious components such as folate, which affects protein synthesis, and vitamin D, while paying attention to the vividness of the eggs’ color when cooked.

It was challenging to incorporate lutein into the eggs, and the development process took about three years. These eggs are available at selected stores, including Takashimaya and some supermarkets in Chiba Prefecture. Prices vary depending on the season, but a pack of ten eggs is priced slightly higher than regular eggs, at around 350 yen.

The primary target demographic is the tech-savvy 30s to 40s age group, although the 50s to 60s age group is known to purchase eggs frequently. Despite this, the company has designed its packaging and marketing with a focus on younger demographics. A company representative emphasizes that their product caters to those who have financial comfort and desire to try slightly higher-quality eggs, rather than simply aiming for high sales volume.

Source: March 1, 2024 Nikkei

Picture is from PR times https://prtimes.jp/main/html/rd/p/000000002.000129805.html

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