In a notable shift, Dutch supermarkets are increasingly favoring white eggs over brown ones. Peter van Horne, a poultry farming economist at Wageningen University, explains to the Telegraaf

that chickens producing white eggs tend to live longer, lay more eggs, are easier to manage, and require less feed, rendering them both more economical and sustainable.

Despite these advantages, Van Horne notes that some consumers still perceive brown eggs as more natural or animal-friendly. However, this perception, he argues, is outdated, as advancements in breeding have made white eggs comparable in size and shell quality to their brown counterparts.

"The white chicken has made significant progress in breeding," Van Horne explains. "It is a smaller, lighter chicken that requires less feed and lays more eggs than the brown chicken." On average, a white chicken lays around 450 eggs per year, compared to approximately 380 eggs laid by a brown chicken. Additionally, white chickens are known to exhibit calmer behavior and engage in less aggressive pecking, contributing to improved economic efficiency, environmental impact, and animal welfare.

Leading Dutch supermarkets have already begun transitioning to white eggs, often emphasizing their sustainability benefits. For instance, Lidl exclusively sells white eggs from Kipster, touted as the most environmentally and human-friendly farm globally. According to a spokesperson, Kipster's white eggs require less feed, resulting in a reduced environmental footprint due to lower resource consumption.

Similarly, Albert Heijn has prioritized white eggs in its egg offerings, with 80% of its shelves stocked with its own brand of predominantly white eggs. Since October of the previous year, farmers participating in Albert Heijn's Better for Nature & Farmer program have focused on breeding chickens that lay white eggs. This strategic shift aims to enhance feed efficiency, thereby lowering CO2 emissions and reducing environmental impact. As a result, white eggs are positioned as more sustainable compared to brown eggs, aligning with Albert Heijn's climate objectives of significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Photo by Ravi Dwivedi, Wikimedia commons.