The UK egg market is set to enjoy a third consecutive year of growth, equating to an increase of about 70m eggs over this period.

This is according to the third quarter sales figures for 2009 published this week by the British Egg Information Service (BEIS).

Growth in the market has been fuelled by free-range egg sales, which have grown by almost a quarter since 2006. Free range now accounts for more than 40% of total retail egg sales.

These three years of substantial growth comes after many years of decline, suggesting that the retail egg market has now settled into a period of long-term growth, said BEIS.

Commenting on the figures, Andrew Parker, chairman of the British Egg Industry Council, said: “The latest sales figures have reinforced the position of eggs as a major part of the weekly supermarket shop.

“After years of a market in the doldrums, the egg industry is enjoying a period of sustained growth, with consumers increasingly seeing the nutritional benefits as well as versatility and meal appeal.”

This positive news comes just before British Egg Week, which begins on 5 October. Utilising the “Wake up to Eggs” theme, British Egg Week will enjoy retailer support with leaflets and promotion planned in several retailers, including Morrisons and the Co-op.