Egg industry sprinting to keep up with cage-free demand

Article by Cogan Schneier

“…As of September 2015, about 4.5 percent of the eggs produced in the U.S. were from traditional non-organic, cage-free facilities, with another 4.2 percent from organic, cage-free facilities.

But there’s every indication that demand will continue to escalate, especially as a ballot initiative expected in Massachusetts this November looks to make it the third state in the country — joining California and Michigan — to pass a cage-free standard. More than 130,000 residents signed a petition to get the measure on the ballot. The state held a hearing in February where opponents argued it would raise prices and take away consumer demand.…

Albertsons Companies, the nation’s second largest grocery chain with more than 2,200 locations, announced Tuesday that “it will be working with its suppliers toward a goal of sourcing only cage-free eggs for its store operations by 2025, based on available supply.” The company, which operates such well-known brands as Safeway, Shaw’s, Acme and Vons, joins a rapidly growing list of major food retailers and restaurants requiring their suppliers to provide only eggs from hens raised in cage-free environments.

Last week it was the grocery chain Ahold USA making the pledge, and the week before that it was BJ’s Wholesale Club. Costco, Trader Joe’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, Taco Bell, McDonald’s, and Mondelez all have recently informed egg suppliers of their cage-free demands.…”

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