Hellmann’s has achieved its goal of using exclusively cage-free eggs in the manufacture of its mayonnaise and mayonnaise dressings in the US, a full three years ahead of schedule.
In 2010, the Unilever mayonnaise brand set itself a goal to use 100% cage-free eggs by 2020, becoming one of the first brands to do so at a time when only 2% of egg-laying hens in the US were reared cage-free. Through a deep commitment to sustainable sourcing, and strong partnerships with suppliers and animal-welfare organisations, Hellmann’s was able to achieve the goal this month.
The achievement, it said, is all the more impressive considering the changes that were necessary to make it possible.
It didn’t start introducing cage-free eggs into its products until Hellmann’s Real – the largest piece of the consumer products portfolio – made the switch in 2012, after two years of groundwork.
By the middle of 2015, half of Hellmann’s products were made using cage-free eggs, and that figure reached 95% by Christmas ahead of the latest milestone announcement this month.
Hellmann’s marketing director Russel Lilly said: “When Hellmann’s first made this commitment, there simply weren’t enough cage-free hens in America to supply the volume of eggs needed. The sheer number of eggs that go into Hellmann’s products – 331 million a year – means we had to completely rebuild our supply chain in order to make our goal a reality.”
Matthew Prescott, senior food policy director for The Humane Society of the United States, added: “Hellmann’s and Unilever have proven yet again that doing well goes hand-in-hand with doing good. People want animal welfare assurances when it comes to the food they buy, and Hellmann’s move shows just how ‘in-sync’ the company is with its customers.”
Hellmann’s switch to cage-free eggs is part of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan – the company’s blueprint for sustainable growth.
Lilly continued: “At Hellmann’s, we know consumers increasingly want to understand where their food comes from and how it’s made. We’re focused on being a sustainable business that does the right thing and are excited our fans can feel confident they’re making a responsible and delicious choice when buying Hellmann’s.”
Consumers will be reminded of the milestone through new product labeling which calls out Hellmann’s cage-free eggs – as well as an integrated marketing campaign that includes new TV spots debuting today, and digital advertising.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2017