Free range eggs, big sales

April 2, 2008

The British Egg Information Service (BEIS) has recently revealed that free range egg sales are now higher than battery egg sales. 

50% of eggs sold in February were free range, 41% of egg sales were from caged chickens and the remaining 9% of the egg sales were from either organic or barn reared chickens.

In February this year sales of free range eggs grew by 20% in volume. This makes one in ten eggs sold in supermarkets free range.  

Finn Cottle, the Noble Food Group marketing director said “The increased consumption of eggs is encouraging, especially as the prices of eggs have risen recently as a result of much higher wheat prices for producers”. 

The price of free range eggs has risen over the past year for example a dozen of free range eggs from Tesco 12 months ago cost £1.62, six moths later it had risen to £1.75 and now the cost lies at £2.55. The price growth is similar to many other large chain supermarkets however it has clearly not effected the growth in sales of free range eggs. 

Waitrose, Marks and Spencer’s and now the Co-Op only stock free range eggs supporting the welfare of chickens as well as meeting the increased consumer demands for free range. 

Image from Flickr by shadyq80

So what has spurred our increased need for free range eggs? 

Andrew Parker, Chairman of the BEIS said the increase in free range egg popularity is due to “the wealth of scientific evidence showing that eggs are good for you as well as new research which shows that eggs can help you slim”.

 Another spokes woman from the BEIS also commented that free range sales have had a significant boost since Jamie Oliver’s show Jamie’s Fowl Dinners. This was aired in January this year which highlighted the animal cruelty involved rearing battery chickens. “That growth has continued in February and beyond. There has been an explosion in the first three months of the year”.  

Robert Chapman, a farmer from Aberdeenshire who runs Farmly Eggs has had to increase his free range egg production by 30,000 eggs per week due to popular demand following Jamie’s Fowl Dinners being broadcasted. He said “Normally, when these programmes come on, you get a change for a couple of weeks after them. But this time it’s just kept going. Folk are becoming more aware of how food is produced and where it comes from. All these things are more important to consumers.”

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