Who is Braswell Family Farms?
Nashville, North Carolina-based Braswell Family Farms is a fourth-generation, family-owned company producing and marketing quality feed and eggs for American families and businesses. Braswell Family Farms is the second largest Eggland’s Best franchisee in the United States and a leading producer of value-added private label specialty eggs for quality minded consumers and retailers. Braswell also offers customized egg stamping and customized cartons.
What makes your company uniquely different from others in the industry?
The beginnings of our family-owned company extend back to the 19th century and has extended over four generations since 1943. Being a family-run business has allowed us over the years to be agile and adapt to the changing industry, which was a key factor in our decision to be one of the founding partners of Eggland’s Best Eggs in 1991. This placed us on the leading edge of marketing innovation and the highest standards of quality and consumer confidence.
In 2008, Trey Braswell joined the company as the fourth generation and has helped grow the company into one of the largest organic feed mills on east coast.
The Braswell family has always prioritized the hen’s health and well-being above all else, leading to happier chickens and in turn, healthier eggs. At one day old, we receive the pullets and begin nourishing them with our in-house grown feed. More than 40 percent of our in-house produced feed is consumed by our hens, providing them with extra nutrients that fortify the eggs with vitamins and minerals.
Braswell Family Farms is committed to environmental stewardship, animal welfare, food safety and quality assurance, with certifications by United Egg Producers, Safe Quality Food Institute, Global Organic Alliance Inc., OU Kosher, etc. These distinctions assure customers that we provide the proper amount of bird living space, healthy production practices and careful handling of our hens; that all hens live on a nutritious diet free of antibiotics and hormones; and that all of our organic eggs are produced with the USDA and OU Kosher guidelines.
As an additional point of difference, our mission, vision and values diversify our company from others in the industry. Our mission is to glorify God as we provide the safest, highest quality eggs and feed. We have a vision to better the lives of those we meet as the Mid-Atlantic’s premier specialty egg and feed provider, and above all else, we value family, accountability, integrity, teamwork and humility.
What makes eggs organic?
Hens that produce organic eggs eat organic feed free from synthetic additives and have access to the outdoors in a cage-free, free-range or pasture-raised environment.
Organic feed is grown without the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides. It is grown by certified organic farmers, whose practices are monitored for three years prior to being certified organic. If the crop is contaminated by cross-fertilization with GMOs, it is rendered useless for organic grading, and there can be no animal by-products in organic feed.
Why are organic eggs better?
There are some common misconceptions about the nutritional value of different types of eggs. In reality, none of these is true unless the hens’ diets have been altered. The only way to produce eggs with higher levels of nutrients is by feeding the hens that lay the eggs a diet of nutritionally fortified feed.
However, some studies have shown that organic eggs have more micronutrients than conventional eggs. Recent findings from Penn State University suggest that organic chicken eggs can have three times more omega-3 fatty acids than their caged counterparts. This could be attributed to a different type of feed. The eggs can also contain 40 percent more Vitamin A and twice as much Vitamin E.
Additionally, purchasing organic eggs is better for our environment. Organic farming practices focus on reducing pollution, maintaining healthy soil and conserving water. These mindful steps help ensure access to safe food and a healthy planet for future generations.
What other types of eggs do you produce?
We produce all egg types to support the needs of our customers including, but not limited to, free-roaming, pasture-raised, free-range and commodity eggs. Free roaming means they live and roam with other hens in a barn. They do not have access to the outdoors, but they are able to exhibit natural behaviors such as dust bathing, perching and laying eggs in nests.
Pasture raised hens can be organic or non-organic and have outdoor access with 2.5 acres of space per 1,000 hens. They have access to shelter at all times.
Lastly, free-range eggs can also be organic or non-organic and these hens have outdoor access with 2 square feet of space per hen and access to shelter at all times.
What is the current state of egg industry in retail grocery?
The egg industry in 2021 continues to be strong compared to 2019. With more people cooking at home than pre-COVID life, our baseline business is growing. Consumer shopping habits have changed to include increased large volume purchases, reducing the number of visits to the grocery store.
As we move forward, the easing of COVID-19 restrictions and mild weather will allow people get out of the house, reducing some of the need for cooking at home. However, we expect sales in grocery to remain strong. As restrictions continue to ease, consumers may fall back into their pre-COVID shopping habits which may impact big box stores.
Why is the state of the egg industry so important to the retail grocers?
Many grocers saw supply chain disruptions in 2020 with low availability of egg and packaging materials. This affected grocers directly as many consumers were limited on how many cartons of eggs they could purchase. Since then, packaging companies have made adjustments and producers have brought on new flocks so supply in 2021 should be plentiful, and we don’t expect to see these disruptions.
What are the current sales trends in retail grocery and egg manufacturing?
Organic, cage-free and pasture-raised eggs continue to post strong growth in retail stores thus increasing the demand on the manufacturing side. As consumers increasingly become more interested in where their food comes from and how it is grown, this has led to an increase in ethical food buying practices.
What is the most effective assortment of egg products in a planogram based on consumer trends?
Category balance in the egg category is a 60-40 split between commodity and specialty sales in general terms.
- 60 percent commodity
- 40 percent specialty
Space allocation should reflect that with stronger lean into specialty. Covid trends have driven larger pack size sales in 18- and 24-count offerings. Organic and Pasture raised continue to drive category growth.
When should eggs be introduced into a baby’s diet?
Researchers used to believe that introducing eggs too early might create an egg allergy. A 2010 study of nearly 2,600 infants uncovered, however, that the opposite may be true. Babies exposed to eggs after their first birthday were actually more likely to develop an egg allergy than those babies introduced to the food between 4 to 6 months old.
Eggs are a great source of protein, iron and Vitamins A, D, E and B12, plus they’re easy for babies to chew and for parents to prepare. Additionally, studies show that an egg a day helps infants grow more quickly and reduces the risk of stunting, a serious problem that impacts about 162 million children around the world under the age of 5.
If your baby is ready to start solid foods, you can begin introducing eggs into their diet. Being able to sit in a highchair, hold their head up on their own are key signs that they are ready for solid food.
Many older adults worry about cholesterol, are eggs still healthy for them to eat?
Last year, the American Heart Association issued a new Science Advisory on the dietary cholesterol and cardiovascular risk, confirming where the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee landed in 2015: dietary cholesterol is not a nutrient of concern and that eggs can be beneficial part of a healthy diet. They went further to recommend in older healthy individuals, given the nutritional benefits and convenience of eggs, consumption of up to two eggs per day.
Older adults are faced with a range of issues that can affect their food intake, including a reduction in appetite, loss of muscle mass and decreased mineral absorption. Additionally, the number of calories you need begins to decline, making it necessary for every calorie you consume to be packed with nutrition in order to hit the mark.
Eggs are nutrient-dense, economical, easily prepared and soft in texture which makes them appropriate for people of this age group. Moreover, eggs are a good or excellent source of eight essential nutrients including choline and lutein, nutrients important for brain and memory development along with long-term health. The high-quality protein in eggs also help support strong muscles and bones while providing sustained mental and physical energy throughout the day.
Read about Braswell Family Farms here.