Quick-service restaurants in the U.S. are moving away from cage laid eggs, and Taco Bell is leading the flock.
According to a report from Reuters, Taco Bell has committed to ceasing the use of eggs laid by caged hens by Jan. 1, 2017. The brand, which is a new player in the breakfast market, is ahead of its larger competitors in the cage-free movement.
For example, McDonald’s, which attributes 25% of domestic sales and 40% of profits, has announced that it will make the switch to cage-free eggs within the next 10 years. However, it will take great reform in the U.S. egg industry for McDonald’s to make the switch than for Taco Bell. McDonald’s uses nearly two billion eggs in a year, while Taco Bell only uses approximately 13 million.
Along with Taco Bell, Burger King plans to hopes to have made the switch by the end of 2016, and Dunkin’ Donuts has committed to have 10% of its eggs to be converted by that time. Starbucks and Panera Bread have plans to complete the conversion by 2020.
According to Reuters, Taco Bell has said that by 2017, its whole eggs would be certified according to cage-free egg production standards set by the American Humane Association. The chain has also committed to removing artificial flavors and colors, added trans fat, high fructose corn syrup and unsustainable palm oil from its core menu items by the beginning of 2016.