SHIFT20: American Egg Board reinforces value of real eggs with free online education courses, seal program
In collaboration with the online culinary school, Rouxbe Global Food Group, the American Egg Board recently unveiled two in-depth online educational tracts that it will offer for free through the end of 2020 for food scientists, chefs and culinologists that focus on egg functionality and egg foundations.
“Our educational program on the Rouxbe platform, called Egg Pro, is an opportunity for food service operators, as well as food formulators to learn about egg cookery. Or, if you are on the formulating side, to learn about egg functionality through an online educational platform,” Elisa Maloberti, director of egg product marketing at the American Egg Board, told FoodNavigator-USA.
She noted that while the curriculum, which AEB will showcase at the upcoming virtual IFT conference, “was in the works way before COVID-19, its launch happens to work really well with the current environment that we’re in,” as it gives users a way to learn safely at home.
It also gives members of the American Culinary Federation the chance to earn 25 continuing education credits – which Maloberti acknowledges “is a lot, but also the course is a lot. It is packed with information that we are super, super excited to share.”
She explained that courses are broken into two main segments – Egg Foundations and Egg Functionality – which are further broken into 94 tasks and 138 tasks for each tract respectively.
“The tasks are broken into videos, flash cards, quick learnings, reviews and quizzes, as well as articles to read, still imagery and written texts,” Maloberti explained.
For the 15- lesson, 25-hour Egg Foundations course, the tasks cover everything from the farm to the kitchen, according to AEB. This includes “egg anatomy, safety and nutrition” to “purchasing strategies and serving eggs on the menu in both made-to-order and high-volume made-to-hold foodservice operations,” the group explains.
The eight-lesson, five-hour Egg Functionality course looks at foaming, aeration, emulsification, the different roles of eggs in baked goods, dairy-based confections and candy, browning and color, flavor or aroma and nutrition, among others.
“There is all kinds of information woven in there. And we just think this is a really cool platform,” Maloberti said.
The program, which can be found at https://eggpro.rouxbe.com/ and will be a main talking point for AEB at the upcoming virtual IFT conference, is free through the end of 2020 to help support the industry during the coronavirus pandemic. Beginning in the New Year, course fees range from $39.99 to $59.99, which will then be used for scholarships and program maintenance.
New seal focuses on consumer education
While these courses are focused on the food industry, the American Egg Board also hopes to educate consumers with a new Made With Real Eggs Seal.
“We are noticing that consumers are embracing the popularity of eggs and that packaged products are calling out prominently on the front of pack or in the product name when they use real eggs. … And so AEB created the Made With Real Eggs Seal to help these companies and food service operators communicate this positive brand perception and encourage purchase intent of these products made with real eggs,” Maloberti said.
Real Eggs seal
Based on proprietary research conducted by AEB, the Made With Real Eggs seal elevates consumers’ mindset and perception of a brand or product and gives consumers confidence that what they are buying is of high quality, Maloberti added.
She also noted the seal helps consumers who are looking for products made with ingredients that they can recognize and would have in their pantry at home.
“Ninty-four percent of consumers have eggs in their households already in their fridge, and they’re considered a cupboard ingredient – so they recognize it, they know it, they understand it when they see it on a product label,” she said.
In addition, she said, “more than 80% of consumers who buy eggs said that when they see this Made With Real Eggs seal, it would positively influence their purchasing decision.”
Like the online educational courses, AEB also is offering use of the seal for free to food service operators and CPG companies. Those who are interested can register for the seal at aeb.org/madewithrealeggs.
Connect with the American Egg Board at the virtual IFT show July 13-15.