Research carried out in New Zealand has found that a third of the market says that the method of housing affects their egg purchasing choices. Another third says that it can have some effect but other considerations are more important, while a further third says that housing method does not affect their purchase at all.
The research was carried out by independent qualitative research and marketing company Qzone, which also found that there is a positive reaction to enriched colony housing and it is seen as a “move in the right direction.” Acceptance and preference for the colony option was found across the egg-buying spectrum and some people who reject cage eggs do not reject enriched colony eggs.
Despite this support, however, price remains an issue. While many shoppers express some flexibility on price, around 22% say that they have no or little tolerance for price increases.
New Zealand’s Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry has released a discussion paper on the welfare of laying hens that provides for the phasing out of conventional cages and the introduction of enriched colonies.