Eggs for lunch or dinner? Still not weird

As a staunch advocate of the suitability of eggs for any dining occasion (Shakshouka anyone?), the Egg Farmers of Canada’s “Eggs Anytime” campaign struck a personal chord when it debuted in 2019.

Its appeal was heightened by some wonderfully offbeat creative from Cossette, particularly a spot featuring an exchange between a brother and sister debating whether or not it’s weird to eat eggs outside of breakfast. It ends with the sister pointing out that the young man’s girlfriend and his mom look alike before smash-cutting to the two women—who not only share similar features, but also an eerily similar laugh.

It’s perhaps best to not spend too much time contemplating that spot’s Freudian implications, but it was a refreshing change from the oh-so-sincere approach typically employed by food marketing boards.

The “Eggs Anytime” platform is an acknowledgement that consumers aren’t always in the mood to be contemplative or feel bad about not doing more to support our farmers when watching an episode of The Masked Singer. The fact that particular spot has racked up nearly 2.4 million views on YouTube also suggests that many Canadians actively sought it out for its entertainment value. To borrow from an old aphorism, you can catch more flies with funny…

Anyway, the Egg Farmers of Canada are back with a new wave of advertising this week that continues to play off the idea that eating eggs outside of breakfast is “weird.” Like their predecessors, they feature a debate about the merits of eating eggs anytime after, say, 10 a.m., before concluding with a nice visual payoff that is legitimately weird.

Egg Farmers says there has been an “upwards trend” in egg consumption in recent years, with one in five Canadians saying they are eating more eggs than before, and some doubling their weekly consumption. The group says that the new ads, which are targeting young singles, men, professional couples, young families and baby boomers, are designed to show eggs’ versatility as well as how affordable and nutritious they are.

Eggs have become synonymous with breakfast, but just how and when did this happen? In 2017, the food magazine Bon Appetit ran an article entitled “Why do we eat eggs for breakfast, anyway?” which quoted from one of the world’s oldest cookbooks, 1669’s The Closet of Sire Kenelm Digby Knight Opened, in which the titular character suggests eating “two New-laid-eggs for breakfast” (poached is his preferred method).

The article, actually a reprint from a 2017 book called All About Eggs, also theorized that breakfast has traditionally been “the domain of the worker,” who required protein and fat to provide the energy to get through the day. Eggs, it said, provided a cheaper alternative to meat. “The need for a filling breakfast meant that eggs would serve as breakfast’s primary protein—uniting workers of the world,” the article concluded.

Eggs as a unifying force in the workaday lives of the proletariat: Now that’s weird.

Chris Powell