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Cage-Free Eggs Trend Is Consumer-Driven, Based On Animal Welfare Concerns

May 15, 2016: 12:00 AM EST
The cage-free eggs trend is consumer-driven, according to industry experts who say sales in the category are steadily rising. The fact that egg-laying hens can move around more freely than their peers in conventional cages -- an animal welfare concern -- has no impact on the flavor or nutritional value of eggs. About 100 billion eggs are produced annually in the U.S. Of these, about 8.6 billion came from a cage-free environment. Within ten years that number will be more like 50 billion. The tipping points in the trend included a 2015 California law that required that eggs come from cage-free hens, and decisions by Walmart and McDonald’s to phase in cage-free-only eggs. In recent weeks, supermarket chains Price Chopper, Bargain Market, Market 32, HyVee, retailer Hampton Coffee (N.Y.) and restaurant chain Bojangles’ all announced a transition to cage-free eggs.
Orlan Love, "The cage-free hen movement has reached a tipping point in consumer preferences", The Gazette, May 15, 2016, © The Gazette
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