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Retail egg sales have continued to forge ahead, building on several years of growth, according to new data from the British egg industry.

In volume terms, sales were up 6% in the first three quarters of 2015, compared with the same period last year. If sales continue at the current rate, a record-breaking year of figures since the 1950s is set to be recorded.

This follows long-term growth in the egg market, with retail sales up a total of 22% since 2008.

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The British egg industry’s data shows that young people are helping to drive this growth, with those under 34 years of age purchasing 31% more eggs than they did in 2008.

Increasing population is also helping, with many immigrants keen on eggs as a source of protein.

Andrew Joret, British Egg Industry Council chairman, said: “The latest figures are fantastic news for the egg industry, and it’s particularly pleasing to see the increase in consumption among younger consumers.

“Eggs are now seen as a great tasting, healthy, nutrition-packed and versatile option, with concerns about cholesterol firmly consigned to the past.”

Independent research among more than 1,500 consumers shows that 42% of consumers now believe it is OK to eat six or more eggs per week, up from 19% in 2008.

Similarly, the number of consumers who believe egg intake should be limited to no more than three a week has fallen from 45% to 26%.

“For today’s nutritionists, it is not about avoiding or limiting the number of eggs you eat, it is about encouraging people to eat them and showing how eggs play an important role in a healthy, balanced diet,” said registered nutritionist Dr Juliet Gray.

Eggs also have the lowest carbon footprint of any animal protein, and Mr Joret believes this will help sustain consumer demand in future.