New market research carried out by a north east egg producer has confirmed taste and welfare as the top two reasons consumers opt for free range.
Sunny Hill Eggs aimed to find out why free range eggs are increasingly popular by surveying more than 1000 of its customers.
Christine Jackson of Sunny Hill Eggs said: “We were delighted to see that so many of our customers were buying our eggs because of their flavour. We believe the optimum conditions we provide for our hens gives the eggs a better taste and it is great to see that the public agrees with us.”
The other main reason given for buying was animal welfare. With many recent high profile celebrity campaigns highlighting the conditions of battery cage hens, more and more people are demanding that chickens are kept in better conditions.
By 2012, under EU regulations only enriched cages which give more space and better living conditions will be allowed. However, she highlighted that many including Compassion for World Farming believe that this still doesn’t go far enough.
“Many of the survey’s respondents made it clear that they wanted to eat eggs that had come from happy hens.”
She runs Sunny Hill Eggs with her sister Catherine Armstrong, based on their family farm in North Northumberland. They currently have 57,000 hens which produce 1.5m dozen eggs each year.
Eggs are sold through delicatessens and farm shops across the North East as well as selected branches of Asda and Morrisons.