Free range egg prices return to normality

Supermarket giants Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco have ditched the heavy discounting of free range eggs that drew strong criticism last month from poultry produces and their representatives.


As reported in the May issue of Poultry World the rollback of prices had put medium free range eggs in two of the top three supermarket outlets at just 100p/dozen and had, according to Asda (that pegged the price at 98p/dozen), boosted sales by a sizeable 128%.


But concern over supply shortages in the free range sector and falling returns to producers – highlighted in letters from among others the British Free Range Egg Producer Association – helped convince retailers of the negative impact of the discounting spree.


“I’m glad we’ve seen the end to this nonsensical pricing but it is just the first step towards gaining a price increase at the retail end,” said John Widdowson, vice chairman of the British Free Range Egg Producers Association.


Packers suggest stability has returned to the market following the u-turn.


However, retailers are keeping tight-lipped on the reasoning behind the change in stance including, ironically, Morrisons – the only one of the top four multiples not to circum to the depths of heavy discounting – which declined to comment if competitors’ actions had affected its egg sales.


A Poultry World price check in the latest issue (June) found Asda, Sainsbury and Tesco had restored medium-sized free range egg prices back to pre-promotion levels – typically 148p/dozen.