Per capita egg consumption is up 24% in the US, the highest level since 1985.

Americans eat a yearly average of 254.1 eggs, thanks to the popularity of high-protein diets such as Atkins and South Beach. Asians, Hispanics, and individuals over 50 - almost half the US population - consume more eggs than average, according to an Information Resources survey.

Growing demand for specialty eggs like organic, caged free, omega-3, and pasteurised eggs also drove sales, which jumped 23.9% to US$2.75bn in the year ending 11 July. Eggs occupy less than 5% of dairy case space, yet return more sales per square foot than any refrigerated category except milk and cheese, according to the American Egg Board.