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Tops Markets to sell only cage-free eggs by 2025

Tops Markets has vowed to sell only cage-free eggs by 2025.

The grocer said it plans to source all of its private-label eggs from chickens in cage-free housing. The transition will take place gradually over time as supply becomes available.

Tops now carries both organic eggs – which are required to be cage-free – and conventional eggs. By 2025, even its non-organic eggs will be produced by chickens not kept in cages.

Earlier this month, Wegmans announced its goal to go cage-free by 2025. It is working with its supplier, Kreher eggs, to convert facilities over time as housing needs replacement. Wegmans said it would meet that goal as long as there is customer demand, adequate supply, affordable pricing and cage-free production is “shown to be safe.”

The two grocers join several other retailers, including Albertsons Cos., Kroger Co. and CVS Health Corp., who have announced plans to go cage-free within the next decade. It’s a response to consumer demand and the push by shareholders at U.S. firms.

The move toward cage-free is expected to help rather than hurt the companies’ profits.

Consumers are willing to pay an average of $3.42 for cage-free eggs, which is more than double the price of conventional eggs, even though cage-free eggs only cost about 15 cents more to produce, according to the Agricultural Issues Center at University of California.