Noble Foods, owner of the UK’s number one free range egg brand1, the happy egg co., has transformed its entire range to offer eggs that are richer in vitamin D than standard eggs.
In the UK it is estimated that one in five adults are vitamin D deficient2. This widespread problem led to Public Health England issuing new guidance in 2016, recommending an increase in daily intake. Vitamin D is essential for the regulation of calcium and phosphorus balance in the body, and it supports the immune system.
The work undertaken by the happy egg co. helps people to increase dietary vitamin D intake by offering a range which contains 28% more vitamin D per 100g than standard eggs3.
The brand is perfectly placed to drive the vitamin D agenda, as it is already bought by 5.9 million households4 and is responsible for 60% of sales growth in free range eggs in the past year alone.
THE ACTIONS TAKEN TO RESOLVE IT
The happy egg co. worked with Newcastle University, Innovate UK and DSM to enhance hens’ daily diets, after finding that they rapidly absorb vitamin D and pass it on to their eggs. Eggs are one of the few foods humans eat that naturally contain vitamin D, and tweaking hens’ diets enhances this further.
Throughout the project, the company worked with nutrition scientists at Newcastle University to ensure both the validity of the process and the nutritional quality of the eggs.
Bringing vitamin D-rich eggs to the marketplace also meant translating complicated science into messages that resonate with consumers. With this in mind, nutrition consultant Dr Janet Aylott RNutr (Food) worked to demystify the topic and emphasise the importance of vitamin D in a healthy diet. She said:
“As a registered nutritionist, my role was to support the team to develop the key scientific and nutritional messages to bring the product to life. My role has been very varied, from training the team on the importance of vitamin D to developing marketing messages on pack and via social media that would resonate with consumers.”
RESULTS OF THE ACTIONS TAKEN
The additional biofortification of the hen feed adds an extra 28% vitamin D per 100g versus standard eggs and places the happy egg co. range in a league of its own.
Sales of the happy egg co. range currently exceed £73.8m1, annually, and the company is now working with both the National Schools Partnership and Park Run events to promote important messages around vitamin D.
1Nielsen: 52 w/e 29.12.18
2Scientific Advisory Committee for Nutrition. Vitamin D and Health Report, 2016. https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/537616/SACN_Vitamin_D_and_Health_report.pdf
3Research conducted in conjunction with Newcastle University 2018
4Kantar Worldpanel: 11.08.1