Customers furious with Coles and Woolworths’ empty egg shelves

Shoppers who went into Coles to buy eggs were shocked to see empty shelves and have now complained to both Coles and

Shoppers who went into Coles to buy eggs were shocked to see empty shelves and have now complained to both Coles and Woolworths on social media.

“Unfortunately there is an industry-wide shortage,” Coles replied to a customer on Twitter.

“We’re working hard with our Suppliers to have this fixed asap. Sorry!”


Apparently, producers are under pressure to meet new free-range regulations and rising demand and now we have been left with an egg shortage across Australia.

This means free-range options have been poached from shelves, leaving shoppers with little choice but to buy caged eggs – with Melbourne and Sydney the worst hit, Sydney Morning Herald reports.

The shortage has been blamed on uncertainty over the laws, introduced in March, reports Daily Mail.

The legal definition of ‘free-range’ was limited to one chicken per square metre and now requires chickens to have “meaningful and regular access to the outside”.

Some regulations, are still being worked out,including the yet-to-be enforced size of barns and it has been reported that this uncertainty has kept farmers from building more barns to meet demand.

Photo credit: Twitter (Ken Tsang).
Photo credit: Twitter (Ken Tsang).

Coles have put up notices in their stores, saying they were “endeavouring to provide an alternative product”.

“Due to unexpected events in the industry, Eggs are in short supply,” the notices say.

The shortage is expected to last for two or three months, spokesman for Egg Farmers Australia John Coward said.

The demand could see the price in eggs surge, Mr Coward told ABC.


How does this story make you feel? What type of egg do you often buy?

  1. we need to shut down more caged egg farms & create more free range egg farms to stop this shortage , mean while go to aldi they have eggs

    • greg  

      It’s actually the cage farms that are still supplying eggs, so shutting them down would make it all much worse.

      As for “creating more free-range egg farms”, genuine free range is so expensive that people would not want to buy it. Hence they are not “created” by investors, and it will not be any more than a niche in production.

  2. greg  

    So, producers cannot even satisfy the requirements of the newly legislated “slum range” that leaves chooks no better off than cages, let alone genuine free range. And Coleworths still want to phase out cage eggs that are well supplied and hygienic?

    What a farce, all in the name of a few anti-cage muddle-heads who have no idea what real free-range is and would not pay for it anyway.

  3. Herma Little  

    An egg is an egg is an egg. How do you know if an egg was “free range” or not? The taste sure is the same.

    • Susan Bell  

      The taste is not the same and we buy free range to make the chook’s life better.

    • As long as man continues to be the ruthless destroyer of lower living beings, he will never know health, and peace.
      For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other.
      Indeed, he will sow the seeds of murder, and pain cannot reap joy and love.

  4. Margaret  

    Plenty of eggs at Aldi yesterday. Free range, minimum 1 square meter per laying hen when outdoors. Okay maybe not the best free range conditions but better than a tiny wire cage.

    • Trish Bolton  

      That is the legal range for the free range eggs Margaret, I had no problems buying my Aldi free range yesterday.
      The annoying thing about all this is folks are ranting and raving about removing caged eggs from shelves, now Coles & Woolies have done that and people are still ranting and raving.
      All they had to do was just buy free range eggs, when Coles & Woolies realised they were not selling caged eggs they would have stopped buying them in and everyone would have been happy. Though having said that some folks are only happy when they are ranting and raving. It will be something else tomorrow.

  5. Melinda  

    What’s the alternative product to an egg?
    Powdered eggs…….yuk!

  6. Eric Vine  

    The world will be laughing at us, really eggs are eggs there are more important things for govts to worry about than if a chook has a meaningful experience outside!

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