Sustainable consumptionConsumers in favor of animal welfare in egg production

Today, the German Consumer Association North Rhine-Westphalia (VU NRW) published a survey on consumer expectations on the issue of killing male chicks in the production of eggs and on labels that indicate animal welfare-oriented production methods. The results demonstrate that the majority of respondents in Germany reject the killing of male chicks in egg production and would prefer more transparency and information on this subject.

On behalf of the German consumer associations, the German Society for Consumer Research (GfK) interviewed a total of 1,003 people in Germany for this representative survey in December 2020 about their attitudes on the issue of killing male chicks and their understanding of product labels for alternative production methods.

These are further results:

  • 85 percent of respondents refused the method of killing male chicks in the production process. This practice could either be avoided by raising male chicks or via sorting out male embryos by determining their sex in advance.

  • 73 percent of consumers would like more transparency, so that in addition to the label “without killing chicks”, the method to avoid this practice is clarified or a proper explanation of the process is given with the packaging.

  • 45 percent of respondents found the label “without killing chicks” to be sufficient information for either of the two alternatives. In contrast, 38 percent only accepted this information for the raising of male chicks.

  • In a comparison of four different packages with labels on this issue, 71 and 68 percent of respondents were able to correctly classify the two labels 'chicken & rooster' and 'chickenlet', respectively.

  • The other two labels 'brother cock-sponsorship' (by the brand 'Dein Landei') and 'without chick killing' (by 'respeggt') were unknown to 56 and 30 percent, respectively. 46 percent wrongly assumed that 'without killing of male chicks' stood for brother cock fattening.

Bernhard Burdick, group leader of the Food and Nutrition division at VZ NRW, said: "The results show that some of the current labels and in particular the mere indication of 'without chick killing' is not consumer-friendly. We expect manufacturers to clearly label chicken eggs. In addition to the sex determination method used in the hatching egg or rearing brother cocks, it should also be made transparent how and where brother cocks are raised."

Source: VZ NRW

Further information