By Graham Cruickshank

THE UKs egg industry is to spend 5 million pushing Lion eggs in 2002.

The increased promotional backing follows an increase in the subscriber levy announced in September by the British Egg Industry Council (BEIC)

In planning for 2002 account has been taken of the success of the TV advertising, a positive report on salmonella in eggs and the success in targeting specific groups such as environmental health officers, health professionals and Key Stage Two schoolchildren.

“We are now entering phase two of the Lion programme, having successfully achieved the first stage objectives, salmonella down and egg sales up,” said BEIC chairman Andrew Parker.

Research was conducted during the summer involving 17 groups of housewives across the UK who were light to medium buyers of eggs.

It highlighted a number of important trends with regard to eating habits, health issues, the Lion marque, ambivalence towards eggs and retailer merchandising.

Perhaps most significantly, consumers described the egg fixtures in supermarkets variously as boring and messy, with nothing clearly signed.

The widespread use of cardboard boxes created a commodity image and was at odds with the perception of eggs as a wholesome and natural food.

“There is a clear message for retailers from our research that much can be done in store to further promote egg consumption.

“To this end, we have allocated some 200,000 to improve both egg pack and outer designs as well as in store promotional features,” said Andrew Parker.

In addition, the BEIC will be contacting major retailers to discuss the research findings and how best they can work together to improve egg displays.

The overall aim of the 2002 campaign is to change the perception of eggs from the traditional old-fashioned image to a contemporary meal solution and maintain the reassurance of the “Lion Marque”.

TV advertising running from mid January through until September will form the thrust of the campaign.

Four new 30-second and 10-second adverts are being produced which address the need for consumers to see quick and easy egg recipes, fitting todays lifestyle.

The adverts will be seen on GMTV and satellite channels.

Overall theme of the adverts is “Eggs – make a meal out of anything” which show how eggs can add value to the humblest of other individual food items.

The scripts feature Mum and Kids, The Girls, Dad and Carlos with the first shot taken of them from the inside of a fridge.

Food items in the fridge will then be used to create one of four recipes including eggs, Veggy Egg Pitta, Cheese and Spinach Frittata, Spanish Omelette and Flemenco Eggs.

The campaign will be backed up with point of sale promotional items such as recipes, egg pack advertising and in store promotional items such as shelf barkers and wobblers.

From March through to September, magazine adverts will appear targeting the older consumer addressing lingering health concerns using advertorials promoting the “Good egg” theme.

The BEIC website, www.britegg.co.uk, which will have had around 1 million hits in the year, is to be expanded.

Two new recipe booklets are also in production including one aimed specifically at children.

For the 7-11 year olds an assembly play in verse, Much Cackling in the Wood has been created, as well as the annual colouring competitions.