Major supermarkets and restaurants commit to cage free eggs
As the cage free egg movement gains ground, more and more supermarkets and restaurants are making commitments to sell only cage free eggs to consumers. Major retailers like Kings Food Markets will transition to cage-free eggs, joining big names like Walmart, Meijer and Kroger, by the end of this year. Kings is positioned as a leader in cage-free egg offerings, with 50 percent of its shell egg sales being cage-free. It plans to transition its private label offering to 100 percent cage free by the end of 2016 and 100 percent of its shell and liquid egg supply by 2025, according to a report by Grocery Headquarters.
Gelson’s Markets, a supermarket chain in Southern California, is also promising to make the switch. In fact, it made an announcement that it would sell only cage-free eggs by 2020, although many of its eggs are already cage-free eggs. The company vows that 90 percent of its packaged egg sales will be cage-free by 2017. This is part of a growing movement to offer consumers products that are health conscious and ethically responsible. This is often in combination with other humane treatment products, such as grass-fed beef, organic, vegan or non-GMO food items.
So what does cage free eggs mean anyway? While it’s not the ideal situation as, say, free range would be, it’s definitely a step in the right direction. Cage free essentially means the birds are exposed to open indoor space without being crammed into cages. It doesn’t necessarily mean they get to see the outdoors. There are 300 million egg-laying hens in this country and many of them, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, are subjected to horrible living conditions. These hens are confined to cages no larger than a piece of 8 ½ x 11 paper and many have to have their beaks cut down so they can’t peck others to death.
In response, many fast food chains, restaurants, grocery stores and manufacturers are embracing the cage free egg movement, promising to only sell or use cage free eggs in order to combat the use of battery cages by farmers. Some of those companies already making the switch include:
- Taco Bell
- Burger King
- Dunkin’ Donuts
- Panera Bread
- The Cheesecake Factory
- TGI Fridays
- Au Bon Pain
- Trader Joe’s
Each company has a different timeline for the switch, with most promising to sell or use only cage-free eggs within five to 10 years.
CMC Food, family owned since 1984, is committed to providing the best products for its wholesalers and retailers. As a manufacturer and producer of fresh shell, cage-free and organic farm fresh eggs, CMC offers a variety of products, including The Farmers Hen, Egglands Best, Land O’Lake and 4 Grain. Give us a call today to learn what we’re doing to keep you healthy!