Good news for many people in Germany: there are no bottlenecks in the supply of eggs for Easter, even in the Corona crisis. However, the discounters call for consideration.
At Easter, consumers in Germany do not have to worry about the supply of eggs, insure trade and poultry farming. Margit Beck from the eggs and poultry market information service (MEG) says that the increased demand for food in the corona crisis does little to change this. “Consumers will find enough eggs, though maybe not everyone will find their dream egg.”
The food retail trade expects to be able to serve the traditionally higher demand at Easter. Aldi-Süd sees the supply situation as secure, employees and suppliers worked at full speed.
“There is no need to worry about a shortage or possible limitation of the amount of eggs at Easter,” the Rewe Group also assures. Discounter Lidl is also well prepared, but as a precaution appeals to customers to handle the situation responsibly and to be considerate. This includes the restriction to normal household quantities.
Demand for eggs increased due to vegetarian products
The egg has been growing in popularity in Germany for years. According to the Federal Ministry of Agriculture, 19.5 billion pieces were eaten last year. The West German record values from the 1970s with just under 300 eggs per head are still a long way off, but since 2005 consumption has risen continuously to 236 pieces per year. One of the reasons for this is the trend towards a low-meat diet, because many vegetarian alternative products contain a lot of eggs.
The demand for eggs in retail has already increased in recent weeks, reports market expert Beck. At the same time, the need for restaurants and other large consumers has collapsed. However, these primarily used eggs from cages that can hardly be sold to private customers.
As a result, the prices for cage eggs would be in free fall. The industry is well prepared for the Easter rush in Holy Week: “The stables are full, production is running normally.”
Chick shredding can go on
Consumers and producers have recently been spared from major scandals about chickens and eggs, the excitement about bird flu and the insecticide fipronil have been going back for some time. However, the mass killing of male chicks caused persistent criticism, which according to a decision of the Federal Administrative Court from June 2019 may continue until the development of alternative methods.
The organic retail chain Alnatura has been trying for four years to counter the shredding of around 45 million male chicks annually with the brother chick initiative. The approximately 33 million eggs marketed by Alnatura each year come from laying hens, whose brothers are fattened for slaughter and then processed into food despite lack of muscle inclination. However, they do not end up in the freezer because, despite a mast that is almost twice as long, they have significantly less meat on their bones than the high-performance chickens of the meat breeds.
Germany cannot supply itself with eggs
In the shops there are mainly eggs from German and Dutch production, because only 73 percent of Germany can supply itself with eggs. Of the approximately eight billion eggs sold in retail in 2019, most came from free-range (3.4 billion) and free-range (2.1 billion). With an increasing tendency, organic is the highest quality level with almost a billion eggs a year, a market share of around twelve percent.
The number of colored eggs, which are now offered as “party eggs” all year round, is relatively constant at 500 million. Aldi-Süd only feels a comparatively small increase this year. This could be due to the fact that many families used the time together at home to dye eggs themselves, a spokeswoman suggested.