Another Trendy Designer Egg on the Market

Gullible consumers never seem to learn

By Will Verboven Ahead of the Heard

Just when you thought there couldn’t be more choices in the egg sections of grocery stores there arrives a seemingly even better choice. The new arrival in selected stores is called the Free Bird egg. These eggs are being distributed by crafty marketers in the BC Fraser Valley who have found that consumer gullibility knows no bounds when it comes to buying ever trendier politically-correct eggs. The egg section of grocery stores in the more affluent parts of Calgary already have a bewildering selection of eggs raised under a variety of production conditions and standards that defy common-sense, so why not add another choice. It would seem the new Free Bird egg is an attempt to get a jump on the competition already crowded with designer eggs, claiming to be free-range, organic, all-natural, cage-free, stress-free, aviary style-raised, vegetarian, GMO-free, humane-raised, antibiotic/steroid-free, renewable energy-raised, and on and on it goes. All of these special eggs have one thing in common – they are almost all brown shelled – that’s because research has shown that consumers continue to believe that brown eggs must be better.

The Free Bird claim to fame is that each egg is guaranteed to be Vitamin D enriched. That’s achieved by treating their feed with artificial ultraviolet light; which causes one to ponder, could that be an environmentally dangerous practice – should the light not be from organic sources only – like sunshine? An additional claim is that Free Bird chickens are true free-range birds. This comes out of the controversy as to how much access so-called free-range chickens have to an outdoor range. There seems to be differences amongst producers in how free range is interpreted. Some consider opening doors as free range, leaving it up to the chickens whether they want to go outside or not. In larger operations free-range requires a lot of space that requires extensive fencing, overhead netting and other facilities, all of which are expensive and labour intensive. As it turns out, a lot of well-fed happy chickens would rather stay indoors out of the heat, wind, snow, cold, rain and darkness. It’s also a lot more stress-free inside, free from worry about aerial predators. Apparently, that’s not enough for egg production purists who seem to believe that chickens need to be outside on the free range whether they like it or not. This causes one to wonder, does the chicken have the right not to be free-range? Perhaps we need psycho-therapists to determine what each chicken really wants for a fulfilling life and not be subjected to bullying to lay vanity eggs for privileged consumers.

There was a time when the supply-management egg marketing boards resisted every attempt at diversifying the egg market. They rightly contended that the eggs their growers produced were safe, nutritious, consistent, available and fairly priced. They were almost universally white because that variety of bird produced the most eggs at cost-efficient production levels. All of this made common sense but in an overindulged consumer society common sense is not enough and clever marketers have long known how to exploit gullible indulgence. It took a while but under pressure from their own members, retailers, and food and consumer lobby groups, the egg marketing boards have now embraced the concept of diverse egg type choices in the marketplace. It’s easy to see why this change of heart has come about – it means for those members involved, a very lucrative avenue to increased profits. Considering the plethora of egg marketing angles and the rather loose definition surrounding the production systems involved, niche egg marketing has exploded. If the present situation is any indication one can expect even more outlandish and exotic egg types on the market in the near future.

One has to be bemused by it all because research has shown, better yet a CBC consumer investigation show proved, that no matter the production type nor the state of mind of the chicken, the protein level of all eggs is identical and differences in vitamin levels are miniscule. Regardless of common sense, it seems some consumers still believe that trendy politically-correct brown eggs costing up to a whopping $8 a dozen must be better than regular lowly white eggs sold at $3 a dozen. Good luck to the growers, marketers and retailers of the new Free Bird egg – I expect they will soon be laughing all the way to the bank. To those smug, affluent, overindulged city consumers – congratulations – you have been willingly bamboozled once again.

willverboven@hotmail.com

Just Posted

High number of Clearview students graduate: Annual report

Clearview boasts 86.4 per cent Grade 12 completion

Stettler RCMP arrest hitchhiker

Man charged with attempting to steal truck, break and enter into another vehicle

Stettler Festival of Lights raises $109,558

Money going towards upgrades to Stettler Hospital emergency room

Stettler County reveals its 2019 calendar

Names winners whose photos are featured in calendar

Cannabis gift ideas for this holiday season

Put the green in happy holidays, now that cannabis is legal in Canada

‘People talk about deep sadness:’ Scientists study climate change grief

Some call it environmental grief, some call it solastalgia — a word coined for a feeling of homesickness when home changes around you.

As protectors abandon Trump, investigation draws closer

Cohen was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison for an array of crimes.

Senate delays start of sittings in new home, delaying start of broadcasts

The Senate and House of Commons are moving into temporary homes for the next decade as a result of long-planned and badly needed renovations to the Centre Block.

UK leader seeks EU lifeline after surviving confidence vote

EU leaders gather for a two-day summit, beginning Thursday, which will center on the Brexit negotiations.

French police try to catch attack suspect dead or alive

Local authorities increase death toll to three, including 13 wounded and five in serious condition

Second Canadian missing in China after questioning by authorities

Michael Spavor, founder of a non-profit that organizes cultural-exchange trips to North Korea, “is presently missing in China”

RCMP vehicle damaged during chase

Hanna RCMP ask public’s help in identifying suspect white truck

UK Prime Minister Theresa May wins party no-confidence vote, but troubles remain

May won the vote of 317 Conservative legislators with a 200-117 tally

Most Read