What price free-range eggs?

It’s a well known fact that you can prove anything with statistics.

The Forager was therefore instantly sceptical about claims made by Yorkshire Farmhouse Eggs that it costs just £5.55 a year to switch from value eggs to free range.hoads farm eggs.bmp

So we asked to see the calculations, and were pleased to find that they do stack up – well, sort of.

The company claims that the difference between value and free-range eggs is just 3p/egg. This is based on an average retail egg price of 15p for value and 18p for free range.

To arrive at these figures, the company compared mixed weight value eggs from Asda, Tesco and Sainsbury’s, with the supermarkets’ own label free-range mediums.

Our own figures in Poultry World, (coincidentally based on the same three supermarkets), are slightly different. They show an average price for value eggs of £2.04/doz, equivalent to 17p/egg. But our medium free-range eggs average out at £2.59/doz, equivalent to 21.6p/egg.

That’s a difference of 4.6p, or £8.48 over the course of a year for someone consuming 185 eggs.

The difference is that we use the same pack size – the traditional six pack – across all categories, to ensure uniformity. The Yorkshire Farmhouse Egg survey considers smaller packs for value eggs and larger packs for free range – effectively distorting the comparison in favour of free range.

The figures are not that far apart – well, only by 53% – but they also assume that consumers do not shop around.

The Forager does and was pleased to find the cheapest value egg in Tesco this week at just £1.50 for a box of 15 – equivalent to 10p an egg.

Unfortunately he accidentally put a box of medium Hoads Farm eggs (part of Yorkshire Farmhouse Eggs) into his shopping basket and was shocked to find they cost £1.75 for six – equivalent to 29p an egg, almost three times more than value.

That sort of mistake would cost £39 over the course of a year. The Forager is sticking with value…

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