How Retailers Can Drive Shoppers to the Egg Aisle
In a marketplace where consumers are imposing increasingly high standards on the food industry, brands are being asked to be more transparent and create more authentic relationships with shoppers. Consumers are engaged in the food industry more than they have ever been before, and brands and retailers alike must build greater loyalty with these educated, savvy shoppers.
To respond to changing consumer behaviors, retailers must make strategic decisions that educate consumers and minimize confusion within the egg category. Retailers can serve their shoppers through these educational efforts.
Guide Shoppers Through Their Buying Decisions
Grocers can guide shoppers to a better buying decision and garner their trust by being transparent and clear about the specialty egg claims they're using. Doing so, however, means understanding the difference between cage-free eggs, pasture-raised eggs, free-range eggs and commodity eggs.
Brown Eggs Versus White Eggs: Both white eggs and brown eggs are completely natural. White eggs are laid by hens with white ears, while brown eggs are laid by hens with brown ears. Despite the shell color, there are no other differences between white and brown eggs, nutritional or otherwise.
Egg Size: The egg’s size, such as “large” and “extra large,” is determined by the egg’s weight. Each egg is weighed individually on scales that determine which weight category the egg falls into, and the scales are calibrated as required by law.
Cage-Free Eggs: Cage-free eggs come from hens not confined to cages, but living conditions within cage-free barns can vary. Third-party verification, like that offered by the Certified Humane program, can help consumers rest assured that their cage-free eggs come from hens living in barns where they can move about freely, socialize with other birds, perch, dust-bathe, and lay their eggs in nestboxes.
Free-Range and Pasture-Raised Eggs: Both of these claims indicate that the eggs are from hens that are cage-free with outdoor access. The amount of space provided can vary across producers. For instance, NestFresh Free Rage Eggs come from hens that have a minimum of 2 square feet outdoors, while NestFresh Pasture Raised Eggs come from family farms that give the birds at least 108 square feet of pasture per bird.
Organic Eggs: Organic eggs must be certified by a certifying agent accredited by the USDA. These third parties conduct inspections of organic producers to ensure that they’re following organic standards that include using organic feed, avoiding GMO inputs and segregating organic eggs from non-organic eggs. Per USDA Organic standards, the hens must be cage-free and have outdoor access.
Tell an Accurate and Compelling Story
With the desire for transparency in food production practices continuing to drive the industry, communication between retailers and brands has reached unprecedented heights. Fortunately, brands and retailers have many tools to help them integrate communications and campaigns across in-store, digital and mobile channels.
Educating consumers in-store should be a dual effort between brand and retailer. Imagery is among the most effective tools that can be enlisted to drive an emotional response from consumers. Retailers can drive more foot traffic to the egg aisle through video and in-store signage that use evocative imagery from producer farms. These simple tactics further promote transparency and clarify in visually impactful ways just what shoppers are purchasing when they pick up their carton of eggs.
Capitalize on Nutrition and Eating Trends
Protein and clean ingredient lists are two nutritional trends that can pique consumers' interest.
Eggs, along with dairy and meat items in the refrigerated case, are well positioned to capitalize on the demand for high-quality protein. Featuring a single ingredient or a short list of whole-food ingredients, these items are seen as inherently natural and an easy step to cleaning and simplifying diets while providing protein.
Further changing the way consumers eat, snacking has overtaken meals altogether. Considering both of these trends, items like hard-cooked eggs and other refrigerated items in convenience packaging are a perfect addition to a retailer's mix as an ideal protein-rich snack with simple ingredients.
Retailers and brands must engage consumers who want to have conversations about the food they’re feeding themselves and their families, and they must engage in a way that’s informative and transparent. While it’s the brand’s responsibility to shed light on its processes and systems of operations, retailers can help to make education about the egg category more accessible and prominent at the point of purchase. From farm to store aisle, shoppers should be met where they are, all in an effort to promote full transparency.