The global vegan egg market is set to grow by USD $910.56 million between 2022 and 2027, new research has found.
More and more people are turning to vegan eggs on ethical, environmental, and health grounds. There is growing awareness of how hens are treated on farms, as well as the fact that eggs are relatively high in cholesterol and saturated fats. While eggs do have a lower carbon footprint than animal foods like beef and dairy, they have been found to contribute more to greenhouse gas emissions than plant foods.
The rise of vegan eggs
According to the report, North America has been responsible for 42 percent of the growth of the vegan egg industry. The availability of these products in countries like the US and Canada has been increasing exponentially over the last few months, with more and more stores stocking them alongside animal versions.
In June of this year, it was announced that JUST Egg, one of the most popular vegan egg brands on the market, had launched its folded and pourable plant-based egg products in thousands of stores in the US. These include Walmart and Kroger.
Last month, JUST Egg announced that there had been a 45 percent increase in college campuses stocking their products over the last year. More than 120 higher education institutions now sell their plant-based eggs to students.
The problem with chicken farming
Numerous reports and investigations have uncovered significant cruelty on farms where chickens are used for their eggs.
In the US, the vast majority of egg-laying hens are raised in battery cages. They live in a space no bigger than an A4 sheet of paper, and are unable to carry out natural behaviors like stretching their wings, perching, or nesting. The animals are crammed closely together, meaning they are forced to urinate and defecate on each other. Hens will be kept in these conditions for around two years, before being sent to the slaughterhouse when their egg production slows.
Male chicks are surplus to the industry, so they will be killed at birth. This will either be done by gassing or maceration, where they will be thrown into high speed grinders while still alive.