Home » Understand consumer drivers to boost your plant-based egg sales

Understand consumer drivers to boost your plant-based egg sales

Why are consumers moving away from animal-based eggs?

Aside from animal-based egg supply issues, there are a number of reasons why more consumers are moving towards alternative egg products. 

In a recent behavioural study that explored consumer perceptions of three types of plant-based eggs (liquid, powder, and egg-shaped) in Italy and the UK, participants noted ‘healthy’, ‘animal welfare’, and ‘sustainability’ as the most important and positive attributes of plant-based eggs.1

These notes and numerous other global consumer studies suggest that health, sustainability/the environment, and animal welfare are the main factors driving the plant-based egg industry.

Let’s dive into each of these motivators to get a better picture of our consumers and how to attract them with plant-based egg products. 


Plant-based eggs are free from cholesterol and low in fat. Source: Unsplash/Jason Briscoe.

Research shows that health is the greatest driver in the plant-based egg market, due to numerous health risks and allergies associated with animal-based eggs, as well as the benefits of consuming plant-based alternatives.

“Nutritionally speaking, plant-based eggs generally have less saturated fat and no cholesterol compared to conventional eggs.”2

Jennifer Bartashus

Senior Analyst, Bloomberg Intelligence

  • Low to no cholesterol: By swapping animal-based eggs for plant-based ones, consumers can reduce dietary cholesterol intake and replace unhealthy saturated fats with better-for-you polyunsaturated and mono-unsaturated fats. This enables consumers to reduce both their blood cholesterol and their risk of cardiovascular disease.3

  • No risk of salmonella: Plant-based eggs are exempt from the numerous food scandals associated with the conventional egg industry, like salmonella outbreaks. 

  • High protein: Alternative eggs can have equal or higher protein content than animal-based eggs, enabling consumers to reach their protein goals.

  • Packed with nutrients: Plant-based eggs can be enriched with a number of health-boosting vitamins and minerals, making them ideal for meeting daily nutrition requirements.

“Our consumer is not vegan or vegetarian. They’re primarily driven […] by health.”4

Josh Tetrick

CEO, Eat Just

  • Easy swap for consumers with allergies: Consumers with egg allergies and sensitivities can safely eat plant-based eggs (as long as they are not affected by other food allergies).

  • No antibiotics used in production: Plant-based eggs can be produced without the use of antibiotics or pesticides. Many consumers prefer products that have been made without the use of these chemicals.

  • Don’t enable the spread of animal-borne diseases: Alternative eggs are not made by chickens, and therefore do not contribute in any way to the spread of bird flu, reducing the risk of zoonotic disease transmission and future global pandemics. 


The production of alternative-egg products has less of an impact on the environment than animal-based eggs. Image source: Unsplash/Nikola Jovanovic.

Another factor that is driving consumers to try plant-based egg alternatives is the reduced environmental impact of the production of alt-eggs, compared to animal-based eggs. Today’s informed flexitarian consumers consciously seek out products that enable them to reduce their personal impact on the planet.

  • Fewer greenhouse gas emissions: Animal-based egg production contributes 9% of the emissions generated by total livestock production.5 By contrast, plant-based eggs have the potential to reduce egg-related carbon emissions by 93%.6

  • Less water use: Because of the volume of water that goes into producing enough feed to sustain chickens, it takes 53 litres of water to produce just one chicken egg. The production of plant-based eggs requires much less water – one JUST Egg product, for example, requires 98% less water to produce than an animal-based egg.7

  • No threat from manure run-off: Chicken manure from farms can seep into groundwater or run off into surface water, which can contaminate drinking water or cause algal blooms and die-offs of aquatic species.8 9 Plant-based egg production produces no animal-waste and does not pose the risk of toxic run-off. 

  • Less land use: 93 million acres of land are used to produce the 1.4-trillion chicken eggs humans consume each year.10 By removing the need to industrially farm birds, you remove the need for animal feed, freeing up huge swathes of land that would be used to grow it.

  • Scalable and sustainable production methods: The continuing growth of the world’s population is expected to stimulate the demand for eggs (+50% by 2035), which poses serious challenges in relation to increasing egg production in a sustainable manner (Food and Agriculture Organization, 2017).11 Plant-based eggs can be produced in sustainable ways that can be scaled up to meet the food demands of a growing population.

Animal welfare

No animals were needed to create this tasty egg-alternative from Eat Just. Image source: Eat Just, Just Egg.

There are increasing societal concerns around intensified animal breeding and farming, which reduces the welfare of the animals involved, causing unnecessary harm. 

The most common methods of farming in the egg industry are via cage and cage-free barn systems, both of which have been associated with a number of issues including manure buildup, the restriction of normal chicken behaviours, and bird injuries. 

  • No animals harmed: Plant-based egg products do not require animals and therefore offer consumers a means of alleviating all their animal-welfare concerns. 

Other consumer and industry drivers

These drivers are also stimulating the progress of the alternative-egg industry:

  • Novelty value and new experiences for consumers
  • Ingredient and manufacturing innovations
  • New product introductions and improved availability
  • Formulation improvements that give better taste and texture
  • Falling prices in some categories as competition heightens and availability of lower-priced private-label brands expands

Key takeaway

Alternative-egg products come in many formats, making the possibilities and opportunities for success endless. Image source: Unsplash/Sorin Gheorghita.

When you’re formulating and marketing your plant-based egg product, ensure that you bear these market drivers in mind. By doing so, you’ll be able to produce targeted products and campaigns that attract value-driven flexitarian consumers. 

For more help with understanding what drives your consumers, get in touch with ProVeg at [email protected].


  1.  Agnese, Randoni. Exploring consumer perceptions of plant-based eggs, (2021). Food Quality and Preference. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S095032932100210X. Accessed 2023-04-24.
  2. Sunny Side Definitely Up for Plant-Based Egg Market, (2022). The Food Institute. Available at: https://foodinstitute.com/focus/sunny-side-definitely-up-for-plant-based-egg-market/. Accessed 2023-03-02.
  3. Learn, JUST egg, available at: https://www.ju.st/learn. Accessed 2023-03-07.
  4. Sunny Side Definitely Up for Plant-Based Egg Market, (2022). The Food Institute. Available at: https://foodinstitute.com/focus/sunny-side-definitely-up-for-plant-based-egg-market/. Accessed 2023-03-02.
  5. Exploring consumers’ perceptions of plant-based eggs using concept mapping and semantic network analysis, (2021). Science Direct. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S095032932100210X. Accessed 2023-03-05.
  6. Learn, JUST egg, available at: https://www.ju.st/learn. Accessed 2023-03-07.
  7. Learn, JUST egg, available at: https://www.ju.st/learn. Accessed 2023-03-07.
  8.  Rahman, Shafiquer et al. “Water Quality of Runoff From Beef Cattle Feedlots.” NSDA Extension Service, (2013). Available at: https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/publications/environment-natural-resources/water-quality-of-runoff-from-beef-cattle-feedlots/wq1667.pdf. Accessed 2023-03-10.
  9. The foodprint of eggs, (2021). FoodPrint. Available at: https://foodprint.org/reports/the-foodprint-of-eggs/#section_6. Accessed 2023-03-05.
  10. Learn, JUST egg, available at: https://www.ju.st/learn. Accessed 2023-03-07.
  11. Rondoni, Agnese. Consumer behaviour, perceptions, and preferences towards eggs: A review of the literature and discussion of industry implications, (2020). Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0924224420306610. Accessed 2023-03-04.

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