- Hormel announced the company has switched to using 100% cage-free eggs throughout its supply chain.
- While Hormel follows dozens of other food companies making the same changes, its adoption has actually exceeded many of those companies.
- Many other manufacturers announce plans to switch to cage-free eggs, typically in a five to 10-year window, but Hormel has already done it, effective immediately.
Hormel seemed late to the game in terms of animal welfare and sustainability announcements made across the industry as food companies scramble to meet consumers' demands. Manufacturers like Kellogg, General Mills, Nestle, ConAgra and Mondelez, and food giants outside of manufacturing like McDonald's and Taco Bell, have already made pronouncements on their policies and plans to improve.
Because Hormel has made the changes already instead of announcing plans to reach a goal, the company has actually surpassed the efforts of many competitors. Other companies like Nestle have vowed to shift their egg sourcing in phases.
Hormel's advantages and efforts aside, the company embraced a trend that is increasingly popular among consumers but still poses challenges to many manufacturers. Aviaries, the most common industrial cage-free alternative for housing egg-laying hens, come with their own safety and health risks for the hens, employees and the environment.
Manufacturers may consider investments in researching other alternatives for raising cage-free hens to make the cage-free egg switch easier, faster and more cost-effective going forward.