UK retailer Tesco has added free-range white eggs to its product offering after a gap of over 40 years, to meet an unprecedented increase in the demand for eggs in retail outlets in light of the coronavirus pandemic.
The move will also help in sustaining white egg suppliers in the UK, Tesco added.
These eggs are mostly used in the HoReCa sector, where demand has dropped due to the implementation of lockdown measures to prevent the spread of the virus.
Eggs buying manager at Tesco, Megan Kilby, said, “The initial trial during the lockdown has been a success and we will now be stocking white free-range eggs for the first time in more than 40 years.
“These eggs are used throughout the restaurant industry, so shoppers can be assured of their quality. The move could also have a massive agricultural benefit as white hens are more docile than brown ones and lay eggs for longer and more reliably too.”
Tesco is sourcing white eggs from Noble Foods, one of the largest vertically-integrated egg businesses in the UK.
Preventing Food Waste
Noble Foods director Jean-Paul Michalski, said, “Generally our white eggs are sold to a very large global restaurant chain, which unfortunately had to close its doors because of the pandemic.
“None of our standard retail customers stock white eggs, so we are grateful to Tesco for stepping in and helping us out as the white eggs would have gone to waste.”
White eggs were popular until the early 1970s, but the widespread misconception about their quality in the latter part of the decade made customers opt for brown-shelled eggs, which were also larger.
Presently, there are an estimated 250,000-300,000 hens that lay white eggs out of the 40 million egg-laying birds, Tesco added.