10-egg carton with one egg

Egg shortage

Switzerland on the hunt for eggs

Demand for eggs in Switzerland has increased significantly – and unexpectedly – since the start of the year. Gaps are starting to appear on the shelves. How is Migros responding?

Kian Ramezani

There are now gaps on the shelves where the eggs would normally be. What’s going on?

Demand for fresh Swiss free-range eggs has risen by around five per cent since the start of 2023. Supply simply cannot keep up with demand.

Why has egg consumption suddenly increased? 

We don’t know exactly. Although Migros is in close contact with its suppliers and constantly forecasts market developments, nobody expected growth of this magnitude.­ The phenomenon is affecting not only Migros, but the whole of Switzerland.

What is Migros doing?

In order to meet the increased demand to some extent, Migros has to import extra eggs from other European countries; however, there are limits to these imports, as other places in Europe are likewise seeing an increase in demand for eggs.

What about the welfare of the animals that produce these imported eggs?

The majority of the eggs meet the minimum KAT standard (KAT stands for “Controlled Alternative Animal Husbandry”), which, in addition to stipulating free-range husbandry, also prohibits beak trimming, for example, and is therefore comparable with Swiss animal welfare legislation.

Are all Swiss eggs affected by this situation?

No, there are enough Swiss organic eggs at the moment; however, this situation may change, given the shortage of conventional Swiss free-range eggs. Here, too, there is only a small margin for increasing quantities. 

Can’t Swiss agriculture increase egg production?

More laying hens are needed to produce more eggs; however, this would involve finding more producers and, above all, building more barns. This is not possible in the short term and also does not make sense beyond Easter, as demand will drop significantly again after that.

Will there be enough eggs for Easter?

Migros will do all it can to have enough eggs on the shelves for Easter, but there will be a far higher percentage of imported eggs than in previous years.