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Supervalu Latest to Flock to Cage-Free Egg Movement

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The Supervalu Inc. logo is displayed at a distribution center in Hopkins, Minnesota on Monday, Jan. 9, 2012.Photograph by Ariana Lindquist — Bloomberg via Getty Images

The cage-free egg movement has won over another convert in the grocery store aisle, as Supervalu became the latest chain the space to promise a transition to adhere to standards advocates say improves animal welfare practices.

Supervalu (SVU), with 3,407 stores and roughly $18 billion in annual sales, said it would transition to sell 100% cage-free eggs at its grocery retail banners by 2025. Currently, cage-free eggs account for nearly 12% of the company’s total grocery retail egg sales. Supervalu said it intends to share annual updates as it makes progress on the cage-free egg front.
The timeline it outlined matched what two rivals promised earlier this month. Albertsons and Kroger (KR) both said it would take until 2025 to fully make the transition.The reason the pledges take time is because there are only a limited supply of cage-free eggs available today, though the market is transitioning quickly. Albertsons, Kroger and Supervalu combined operate just over 9,000 stores, so just their vast retail presence alone can create a massive ripple within the broader move to go cage free.

More restaurants, grocery companies, food makers, and egg suppliers are switching to meet the trend, resulting in a slew of announcements in recent months for a process animal welfare advocates say are painful to animals. On Monday, for example, Fortune reported PepsiCo (PEP) was making a similar transition.

Other grocers have already joined the movement, including Trader Joe’s, Safeway (SWY) and Sprouts Farmers Market (SFM).

“Our decision to move toward selling only cage-free eggs reflects our ongoing commitment to improving animal welfare practices across the industry,” said Mark Van Buskirk, Supervalu’s executive vice president, merchandising, marketing and retail.