All shell eggs sold by grocery chains Aldi and The Fresh Market will come from cage-free operations, the companies announced. The Fresh Market plans to make the transition by 2020, while Aldi plans to make the switch by 2025.
Both supermarket chains announced their cage-free egg plans about one week after rival grocers Albertsons Companies, Kroger and Delhaize America made similar announcements.
Meanwhile, restaurant chains Chick-fil-A and Ruby Tuesday announced plans to eliminate eggs from caged hens from their supply.
Aldi, which operates about 1,500 stores in 32 states, stated in a press release that it will work with its suppliers toward transitioning to a shell egg supply chain that is 100 percent cage-free by 2025.
As a first step toward its goal, all Aldi stores will carry a cage-free shell option by the end of the 2016. The chain will work with suppliers throughout this transition to increase the number of cage-free shell eggs year-over-year, while also ensuring that eggs are affordable, meet the company’s high-quality standards and are readily available.
The Fresh Market
The Fresh Market has actively been selling cage-free eggs at all 185 of its stores within 27 states, and expects to fully transition to selling only eggs from cage-free operations by 2020.
Presently, according to a press release from the company, 86 percent of eggs The Fresh Market sells are from cage-free hens, while 100 percent of its private brand eggs are cage-free.
“Our customers have responded positively to the increasing number of cage-free, pasture-raised and organic options in our shell egg offering,” said Pamela Kohn, executive vice president and chief merchandising officer for The Fresh Market. “We look forward to continuing the path toward 100 percent cage-free eggs and providing our customers with a growing variety of responsibly sourced eggs.”
Quick service restaurant chain Chick-fil-A will phase out the use of eggs from caged hens by 2026, the company announced.
The company has already been collaborating with its suppliers to work toward that goal.
“Our transition to cage-free eggs reinforces our commitment to provide wholesome menu options that continue to meet the needs of our customers,” said Rob Dugas, chief procurement officer and vice president of supply chain for Chick-fil-A.
“With the majority of the egg industry currently relying on conventional hen houses, the transition to a new, cage-free system that can reliably and safely supply nationwide brands will take time. However, Chick-fil-A takes the transition seriously and has put in place a process to see the transition through.”
Chick-fil-A operates nearly 2,000 restaurants in 42 states and in Washington, D.C.
Restaurant chain Ruby Tuesday, in its Sustainable Sourcing policy, stated that 100 percent of its shell egg purchases are currently from cage-free sources.
However, the company has agreed to expand its cage-free commitment to include egg products. Ruby Tuesday will convert its entire egg supply to cage-free eggs by 2025.
As of December 1, 2015, there were 733 Ruby Tuesday restaurants in 44 states, 12 foreign countries, and Guam.