Bakery manufacturers using imported eggs in their products could be risking their reputation after new research found consumers were "dismayed" to discover foreign eggs are regularly used in British-made food.

Focus group research, commissioned by British Lion Egg Products, found that consumers felt the use of foreign eggs compromised the quality and value of the product they were buying. Respondents assumed the eggs in products such as quiche would be British and were "shocked" to find out that they often contained imported eggs.

The UK imported the equivalent of around one billion eggs in 2009, in the form of egg products, such as dried, liquid and frozen eggs, which are widely used in bakery products. The 2008 annual market price for 100kg of eggs in the Netherlands was E79 and in Spain E103, while in the UK it was E116, according to the European Egg Processors’ Association.

Craft bakery chain Birds of Derby uses the British Lion egg logo on point-of-sale material to highlight to customers that the company only uses British eggs. Mike Holling, retail operations manager, said: "The British Lion mark gives us confidence that the eggs we are buying are produced to the highest food safety standards for example chicks are inoculated against salmonella. Our customers also like the fact we use regional and British ingredients whenever we can."