Taco Bell has vowed to completely convert to serving eggs from cage-free hens by the end of 2016 at all of its U.S. locations. The fast-food chain has more than 6,000 corporate and franchise-owned restaurants in the U.S.
The company announced that it reached the decision after several years of planning, and it expects to be the first national quick service restaurant to completely implement the switch to cage-free eggs, outpacing some competitive implementation timelines by years.
“We are a brand that has our finger on the pulse of not only what appeals to our customers’ tastes but also the issues they care most about, and they tell us they want food that’s simple and easy to understand,” said Brian Niccol, CEO, Taco Bell Corp. “Implementing this change at record pace underscores that we are always listening and responding to our customers, while doing what is right for our business.”
The move also supports the brand’s focus on disrupting the breakfast market with fun, craveable menu items that feature eggs, like the A.M. Crunchwrap, Biscuit Taco and breakfast burritos.
Taco Bell’s eggs will be verified as “American Humane Certified” based on cage-free egg production standards set by the American Humane Association.
“Delivering a sustainable and safe egg supply to Taco Bell restaurants nationwide in one year is possible due to the brand’s large yet flexible infrastructure, and years of close collaboration with our partners,” Liz Matthews, Chief Food Innovation Officer, Taco Bell Corp.
Taco Bell is a subsidiary of Yum! Brands, which is also the parent company of KFC and Pizza Hut. Neither of those restaurant chains have announced plans concerning cage-free egg use.