In the United States, McDonald’s buys roughly two-billion eggs on an annual basis to feed the demand for its Egg McMuffins and other products. In Canada, the fast food franchise purchases about 120 million eggs. So it goes without saying that the fast food franchise’s recently announced plan to stop buying eggs from chickens that live in cages is a big deal, and not just for animal rights activists but for the egg industry as well.
The company’s annual demand for eggs in the U.S. alone accounts for slightly more than 4 percent of the nation’s total production, which amounted to over 43 billion eggs produced in 2014.
According to the New York Times, it could take the company as long as a decade to completely migrate away from caged-chicken eggs, as less than 10 percent of the egg laying hens in the U.S. are cage free at this time.
The company is “confident” in its ability to maintain a consistent supply of quality eggs that are safe for human consumption, according to senior vice president and chief supply chain office of McDonald’s North America, Marion Gross.
We’re proud of the work we’re doing with farmers and suppliers to advance environmentally and socially conscious practices for the animals in our supply chain (…) This is a bold move and we’re confident in our ability to provide a quality, safe, and consistent supply.
In the company’s Wednesday announcement, McDonald’s USA President Mike Andres stated that the company’s decision to shift entirely to cage-free eggs “reinforces” the focus the company places on meeting and exceeding the expectations of their customers when it comes to the quality of their food as well as their menu in general.
Our customers are increasingly interested in knowing more about their food and where it comes from (…) Our decision to source only cage-free eggs reinforces the focus we place on food quality and our menu to meet and exceed our customers’ expectations
The McDonald’s Corporation is the largest hamburger fast food restaurant chain on the planet, serving around 68 million customers across 119 countries on a daily basis.
There’s good news for Americans who can’t just can’t seem to get enough of the fast food joint’s McMuffins, hash browns and other breakfast items. Come October, McDonalds breakfast hours will no longer be limited to their usual 10:30 a.m. cutoff time. Instead, breakfast items will be available around the clock.