In 2007, Costco Wholesale Corp. said there was not enough cage-free egg production for the company to have a cage-free purchasing policy. Now, nine years later, the company has announced its intent to commit to change to cage-free eggs in its stores.
In 2007, Costco Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Merchandising Craig Jelinek said in the Portland Oregonian that the company had set a goal of offering eggs only from cage-free layers. But U.S. egg producers did not supply enough cage-free eggs to meet Costco’s needs then, he said.
While the company has not yet revealed a timeline when it would fully transition into selling only cage-free eggs, it stated that it is working with its suppliers to determine when a realistic transition goal would be.
Costco issued the following statement on its website: “Costco is committed to going cage‐free for its egg procurement. Since 2006, we have already substantially increased our percentage of cage‐free eggs: in fiscal 2006 cage‐free eggs represented 2 percent of eggs we sold and today they represent 26 percent. In calendar 2016 we expect to sell over 1 billion cage free eggs.”
With the announcement, Costco joins a large list of companies announcing a transition to cage-free eggs. Others to make a commitment include McDonald’s, Subway, Shake Shack, Dunkin’ Donuts, Jack in the Box, Qdoba, Taco Bell, Peet’s Coffee & Tea, Einstein Bros. Bagels, Caribou Coffee, Panera Bread, Arby’s, Royal Caribbean, Carnival Corporation, General Mills, Kellogg, and Hilton Hotels.
Costco Wholesale Corp. officials planned to offer eggs only from cage-free layers, but the company hasn't found the supply it needs.