Countdown promises to break free from caged eggs

  • News
  • March 2, 2017
  • Courtney Devereux
Countdown promises to break free from caged eggs

Countdown has announced its decision to only sell free range and barn eggs across all its own brand eggs by the end of 2022

According to Countdown's press release, the decision comes after the change in the New Zealand government’s Layer Hens Code of Welfare, stating that farmers must stop producing battery caged eggs by December 31 2022.

Nikhil Sawant, Countdown’s merchandise manager perishables, says the commitment is a proud moment for the Australian-owned chain.  

“We are extremely proud of our direct relationships with our farmer partners. Our Egg Producer Programme has allowed these egg farmers the opportunity to invest in more free range and barn egg capacity, due to having a guaranteed retail channel through Countdown,” he says.

"This further announcement enables egg farmers to speed up their plans, and we are delighted that our partner Wholesome NZ has committed to our plans already. We hope our announcement gives further confidence to the egg industry to invest in increasing free range and barn egg supply." 

Ian Higgins from Wholesome NZ says the announcement from Countdown means he is removing caged egg production completely from his Higgins Poultry business.

“It is incredibly difficult for farmers to spend millions of dollars on construction if they don’t have the certainty of supply at the other end,” he says.

“This announcement from Countdown means Higgins Poultry can completely move to free range and barn eggs as soon as November this year, because we know that our investment is secure.”

While traditional caged eggs currently make up around 70 percent of the market, since 2014 demand for free range eggs has increased 52 percent and demand for barn eggs has increased by 30 percent.

Sawant says we will only see this trend continue. However, he says it is critical that Countdown continues to offer its customers a choice of eggs and affordable options.

“Eggs are a staple for many Kiwi families and an important source of affordable protein, so we will continue to have a range of eggs so that customers can choose what suits their budget or preference,” he says Sawant.

While animal rights group SAFE applauded Countdown for listening to consumers, it wanted the supermarket to go further. 

“We now expect Countdown to take the next step and listen to their Kiwi customers who have said they support them going cage-free, as they have done so over the Tasman," says ambassador Hans Kriek. 

In New Zealand, a number of companies have already committed to going cage-free, including McDonald’s, Burger King and Wendy’s.

“Internationally many large supermarket chains are going cage-free," says Kriek. "Just today, major retailer General Mills, one of the world’s largest food manufacturers, announced a global cage-free policy." 

It's not just eggs Countdown has felt the heat over. Talking to StopPress in 2015, general manager of marketing Bridget Lamont said "it’s no secret that we had a rough ride at the beginning of last year with a lot of negative focus on our business, so we are very honed to hear what is said about is. And, where we can, we look to respond appropriately … We’ve learnt to listen very carefully to what is said [in the media]; and wherever we can, we look to set things right." 

It's also listened to its competitors, which focus heavily on being New Zealand-owned, and, perhaps in an effort to show that it is keeping its promise to 'grow with the country', its latest ad focuses on the opening of a new store in Mosgiel and the benefits it will bring to the community. 

"My view on New Zealandness is pretty simple," said Lamont. "I work with a team of 18,000 Kiwis. I’m the custodian of a brand that operates in 174 communities. I don’t know what else it takes to be a New Zealand brand ... We’re owned by an Australian company, but you walk into any Countdown and you’re going to find a group of passionate Kiwis of varied backgrounds who are working to serve other Kiwis. And for me, that’s the end of it."

Countdown's sales for 2016 increased by a record 3.8 percent to $6.1 billion. 

​ ​

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.


Macpac has created an online megastore

  • Technology
  • September 13, 2019
  • The Register
Macpac has created an online megastore

New Zealand outdoor equipment retailer Macpac found its website wasn’t keeping up with its $10 million plus international expansion, so it’s invested in a new site which introduces new content, accessibility and a frictionless experience.

Read more

Pak'nSave wins August's Ad Impact Award

  • News
  • September 12, 2019
  • StopPress Team
Pak'nSave wins August's Ad Impact Award

August was an amazing month for advertising and choosing a winner of the Colmar Brunton Ad Impact Award was a difficult task. This month, the honour goes to PAK’nSAVE with their latest advertisement ‘Saveyest Country’, which uses their classic stick man to show how New Zealanders are saving, not just at PAK’nSAVE.

Read more

Spark’s new concept store at Westfield Newmarket

  • Design
  • September 12, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Spark’s new concept store at Westfield Newmarket

When Westfield Newmarket opened, telecommunications company Spark took the opportunity to launch a new concept store which prioritised innovative technology and an immersive retail experience.

Read more

Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

Concept to closet
Business coverage of New Zealand Fashion Week.
Regional rollercoaster
What does retail look like in 2019 for ...
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...

Trust the process: Is there still a place for liquor licensing trusts?

Liquor licensing trusts are a unique corner of the retail market, but is the model still relevant in our fast-changing business environment? Sarah Dunn weighs ...

Sponsored content

Recruitment with a fresh frame of mind

Frame Retail is the recruitment agency with an eye for fashion retail.


Kathmandu becomes Australia and New Zealand’s largest B Corp business

  • News
  • September 11, 2019
  • The Register
Kathmandu becomes Australia and New Zealand’s largest B Corp business

Listed outdoor goods retailer Kathmandu has secured B Corp accreditation, making it the largest business of its kind to have done so in Australia and New Zealand.

Read more
Next page
Results for
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

The Register

Content marketing/advertising? Email or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit