The global food giant Nestlé has announced that it will switch to 100 percent cage-free eggs in the United States by 2020.
There’s been an absolute avalanche of similar announcements concerning cage-free production this year—from McDonald’s, Taco Bell, Compass Group, Aramark, Sodexo, Starbucks, Panera Bread, Dunkin’ Donuts—and well, the list goes on (and on, and on). In fact, just yesterday Carnival Corp.—the world’s largest cruise company—announced a 100 percent cage-free shift. Last week, Caribou Coffee, Peet’s Coffee, Einstein Bros. Bagels, and Shake Shack all announced cage-free phase-ins. And the week before that, Flowers Foods, the $3.7 billion baked foods company and maker of iconic brands like Wonder Bread and Tastykake, announced it too is going 100 percent cage-free. We are in the throes of a massive global transition away from cage confinement of hens and toward cage-free production.
Nestlé is the world’s largest food company—it has over 2,000 brands, nearly $100 billion in annual sales, and it uses 200 million eggs annually (for brands like Häagen-Dazs, Dreyer’s, Edy’s, Toll House, Buitoni, Lean Cuisine and Stouffer’s). At that volume, the company’s cage-free shift will result in nearly 780,000 fewer birds confined in cages each and every year.
“Our products are in the fridges and pantries of socially-conscious consumers across the United States, and we share their belief in the importance of responsibly-sourced ingredients,” said Paul Grimwood, chairman and CEO of Nestlé USA. “The move to using exclusively cage-free eggs is one more way that we’re responding to consumers and establishing a precedent for farm animal welfare.”
We’ve been proud to work with Nestlé for the last several years on this and other animal welfare initiatives. This is the humane economy in action, with major players like Nestlé and so many more working to eliminate cages and other inhumane practices from their supply chains, demanding better outcomes for animals, and aligning their purchasing practices with the emerging and established values of their customers.