Popular Protein Options

Popular Protein Options

Better Eggs®: Leading the Way in Welfare and Sustainability

In an industry that historically has broad and euphemistic definitions of the living conditions awarded to hens, Better Eggs® is keeping it simple: happy hens lay Better Eggs®.

Better Eggs® Chief Eggs-ecutive Gareth van der Heyden says, “Our purpose is to provide nourishment for better living – for both our hens and consumers. The health and welfare of our hens is front and centre of what we do. The environment where our hens live is fully equipped to ensure they live their best life every day –this is really important.”

Better Eggs® is leading the way in compassionate farming practices, with their Henergy Cage Free product being the first brand in New Zealand to be granted SPCA certification for eggs. Their free-range label Better Eggs® was launched to market in June 2023, carrying the same certification that requires animals to live in comfortable, enriched environments where they can move around freely.

The Better Eggs® mantra is to be ‘Champions for Better®’. As a family-owned business, they strongly believe in going even further than the basic requirements by creating a haven that ensures the well-being of the hens is their top priority.

Throughout the day, the hens enjoy the freedom of exploring an outdoor forest area. Better Eggs® has planted thousands of trees to create a sheltered and shaded sanctuary that creates an environment conducive to what hens love most – foraging!

The large atrium-style barns where the hens sleep and lay their eggs offer natural light and ventilation while utilising the latest monitoring technology to ensure optimal health and comfort. The grain the hens are fed is custom-blended according to age and nutritional needs, and stringent biosecurity measures are strictly adhered to.

Hens are intelligent and curious folk, so there are ‘enrichment’ items for hen-tertainment. That’s right – toys for hens! It’s hen heaven on Earth.

In an eggshell, the team at Better Eggs® is striving towards setting a standard for better.

“Being Better is not a destination, we work on it every day and should never reach an endpoint,” says Gareth.

What’s new at Woolworths NZ

“We are seeing strong growth in cage free eggs (barn and free range) as customers transition from caged eggs, which fits well with our own commitments of becoming 100% cage free by the end of 2024 for the North Island and 2025 for the South Island,” says category manager Kristina Clerke.

“Our own brand Countdown barn and macro free range eggs are exclusively available at our stores and continue to receive great feedback from customers. They launched in June 2023 and are currently on our Low Price programme.

“For our Countdown barn eggs, hens move around freely in large sheds. For our macro eggs, hens are raised on free range farms and meet animal welfare standards to be 100% SPCA accredited.

“These branded eggs are a great source of protein with a 4-star health rating. Sizes vary from mixed grade, size 7 (large), and size 8 (jumbo). The packaging is also fully recyclable.”

Fresh poultry

Fresh Poultry category manager Naida Marcon adds: “We’re seeing customers watch their household budgets and spend more time planning their shop to save money and minimise waste. For example, customers are moving to cheaper poultry cuts with a lower price per kilogram.

“We launched some new products under our Cook range in September 2023 which have been popular with Kiwis looking for quick and easy meal solutions:

1. Cook firecracker thigh fillets (amazing flavour, my absolute favourite.)

2. Cook chicken drumsticks smokey barbecue.

3. Cook chicken wings chilli & lime.

4. Cook chicken nibbles Vietnamese style – also a favourite of mine. Best for those backyard BBQs this summer.

5. Cook butterfly birds garlic & herb.

6. Cook butterfly birds firecracker.

7. Countdown chicken kebabs rosemary and garlic (3 for $20)

Trends in Foodstuffs stores

Foodstuffs North Island Category Manager Elliot Winstanley says poultry is a staple protein in New Zealander’s diets, with customers purchasing forms of it all year round.

“Free range and organic categories have seen strong growth over the last year as customers seek out products which focus on sustainability and welfare.

“Over the summer months, we tend to see a shift in consumer purchasing behaviour towards more value-added items such as kebabs and butterfly whole birds as people bring out the BBQ’s and head to the beach.

“Popularity for bone-in chicken products has increased over the last year. They tend to be cheaper cuts and are a great option for families looking for value-for-money options. 

Foodstuffs North Island Category Manager Chris Kneller adds: “In the freezer, we’re seeing a shift towards value-added chicken, like fried Tegel Take Outs and breaded nuggets. Bulk frozen portions and whole birds experienced a decline in both value and units last year, although it’s worth noting that some supply constraints contributed towards this trend.

“The latest NPD in the frozen poultry space, is the Bostock Brothers Lightly Seasoned Chicken Tenders. These free-range temptations provide customers with a fresh, flavorful and organic option,” says Kneller.

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