Countdown cracks on with cage-free egg work, with additional five stores to sell barn and free range eggs only

Countdown is  cracking on with its plan to go cage-free across the country, with Countdown’s Ferrymead, Ponsonby, Kilbirnie, Petone and Takapuna stores now stocking cage-free eggs only from today.  

Customers shopping at these, and eight other Countdown stores will only find cage-free eggs on the shelf. The addition of the new stores is another important step as the company moves closer to its goal to be cage-free in all on-shelf eggs by the end of 2024 in the North Island and the end of 2025 in the South Island. 

Countdown’s Director Corporate Affairs, Safety and Sustainability, Kiri Hannifin says making the change in five stores earlier in 2021 gave Countdown an opportunity to understand how customers felt about the change to cage-free. 

“While we know animal welfare is a key concern for our customers, we're also aware that there are other factors they consider when making purchasing decisions such as price and range. So, when we hatched the plan to launch the first five cage-free stores, we wanted to see how our customers responded to the change. The great news is our customers have embraced the cage-free change and this has happened quickly. 

“Our focus remains on how we can continue to work closely with our egg farmers to establish a pathway towards more cage-free supply. While 2024/2025 might still seem a while away, we have to do the work now to achieve our cage-free goal in the coming years,” Kiri says.  

Zeagold Nutrition CEO, John McKay says “As New Zealand’s largest egg producer we are delighted to see Countdown’s progress in offering only cage free eggs on shelf,”

“We remain committed to investing in cage free egg production to support that. We will continue to work proactively with Countdown to improve the supply and availability of eggs that meet this growing segment of cage-free consumers,” says John McKay.

Countdown’s goal is to have 100 percent cage free eggs on shelf, subject to regulatory changes and based on available supply, affordability and customer demand. Countdown’s Egg Producer Programme for Free Range and Barn launched in 2016 to provide certainty to supply partners that if they invest in free range or barn egg farming, Countdown will buy those eggs.

Facts and figures about eggs at Countdown:

  • Countdown is expecting to sell over 16 million eggs this holiday season as bakers across the country whip up pavlovas and meringues for the Christmas table

  • Over the last three years, demand for cage free eggs has increased by over +30% with more and more Kiwis looking to support animal welfare

  • Over the 2021 Level 4 lockdown, Countdown sold over 15 million eggs -  well over +30% more than a typical month

  • Countdown now has a total of 13 cage-free stores including: 

    • Countdown Milford 

    • Countdown Waiheke Island 

    • Countdown Grey Lynn

    • Countdown Crofton Downs 

    • Countdown Newtown 

    • Countdown Ferrymead 

    • Countdown Ponsonby 

    • Countdown Kilbirnie 

    • Countdown Petone

    • Countdown Takapuna

    • Countdown Richmond (opened with cage-free eggs only)

    • Countdown Albert Street Metro (opened with cage-free eggs only)

    • Countdown Halsey Street Metro (opened with cage-free eggs only)




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