Kraft Heinz, with products from sauces to salad dressings, has become the latest food manufacturer in North America to announce plans to use only cage-free eggs.
The Miracle Whip and Heinz Mayo maker said all the eggs its North American operations use would be cage-free by 2025.
“Making the move to source our eggs exclusively from cage-free hens builds on progress made by both Kraft and Heinz in previous years and reinforces our continuing pursuit of animal welfare improvements throughout our supply chain,” Michael Mullen, senior vice president of corporate and government affairs at Kraft Heinz, said.
Various food processors have made commitments on cage-free eggs in recent months.
Mars Inc extended its commitment to use cage-free eggs in its products to the US, Canada and Australia by 2020, with Mondelez International and Nestle also eyeing that date. Like Kraft Heinz, ConAgra Foods, General Mills and Kellogg have set a deadline of 2025.
Converting the egg supply to cage-free production represents a challenge. Nevertheless, investment is strong and, according to US Department of Agriculture estimates, there was a 37% increase in cage-free production between September 2014 and September 2015. Egg Farmers of Canada, the Canadian farm co-operative, also recently backed efforts to convert the industry to a cage-free footing.
For just-food’s detailed analysis of the cage-free egg trend, its drivers and implications, click here.