McDonald's Move to Only Serve Cage-Free Eggs Makes Major Impact

The quick-serve giant McDonald's set a goal to serve only cage-free eggs by 2025. As the company gradually start to change its egg supply, this has made a significant impact on the farming industry and on the prices of cage-free eggs.

"The expected surge in demand has sparked barn upgrades across the country over the last several years, with producers building facilities that give hens a bit more space. This increase in supply is reducing cage-free eggs’ market premium over regular eggs," writes "Bloomberg.

Back in February, the cost of a dozen cage-free eggs was about 81 cents more than regular eggs. In 2017, cage-free eggs were double the cost of regular eggs at some retailers.

But due to McDonald's recent pledge, which has influenced other restaurants to follow-suit, the price of cage-free eggs have started to decrease as more suppliers are ramping up production to fulfill the demand.

The fast-food giant buys about 2 billion eggs a year in the U.S., which amounts to almost 2 percent of the country's annual production.

“The supply-and-demand equation will change such that pricing will go down,” said Marion Gross, head of supply chain at McDonald’s in the U.S. “More people will be able to afford cage-free eggs.”

McDonald's made the pledge to go cage-free at its 16,000 restaurants in the U.S. and Canada back in 2015 and so far, 30 percent of stores in Canada serve these eggs.

As mentioned before, McDonald's isn't the only company implementing this change.

"Walmart Inc. and General Mills Inc., are moving in the same direction as McDonald’s. Kraft Heinz Co. says 60 percent of its supply is cage-free or free-range globally, while General Mills reached 40 percent last year," writes "Bloomberg."

Burger King previously set the goal of being cage-free by 2017 but wasn't able to achieve it. The fast-food chain is now also aiming for 2025.

This is one of the many ways QSR brands are trying to compete with the fast casual segment. Last year, McDonald's launched a new Dollar menu too. Watch the On-Foodable Weekly below to learn more.

Burger King is the Latest QSR to Serve the Plant-Based Impossible Burger

The plant-based company Impossible Foods has partnered with yet another massive quick-serve chain.

On Monday, Impossible Foods announced that the Impossible Whopper will now be available at 59 Burger King stores in the surrounding area of St. Louis, Missouri.

Since the announcement was made on April Fools, the "burger giant released a hidden-camera-style promo video showing the serving of plant-based Whoppers instead of meat to customers who marvel that they cannot tell the difference," writes "Reuters."

Burger King decided to partner with the plant-based company because the Impossible Burger not only mimics the looks of a traditional beef burger but it is similar in taste.

“We’ve done sort of a blind taste test with our franchisees, with people in the office, with my partners on the executive team, and virtually nobody can tell the difference," said Christopher Finazzo, Burger King’s North America president.

The Impossible Whopper is priced about $1 more than the traditional Whopper.

As we said, Burger King isn't the only fast food burger chain jumping on the plant-based bandwagon by partnering with Impossible Foods.

In April of last year, White Castle started serving the Impossible Slider. After the success of the menu item at 140 test stores, the chain announced that the Impossible Slider would be available nationwide.

Burger King is the first big chain to serve the Impossible Burger with the company’s new recipe. Earlier in the year, Impossible Foods change the recipe so that it is gluten-free. The company decided to switch out the wheat protein for a soy protein concentrate. The new patty also has no animal hormones or antibiotics either, along with less salt.

Learn more about the Impossible Whopper at "Reuters" now.

Veggie-burger companies have been battling it out to capture more of the market share. Impossible Foods' rival Beyond Meat has been more focused on retail, but in January Beyond Meat announced that it would be rolling out its plant-based Beyond Burger at the QSR Carl’s Jr.

Beyond Meat, which recently went public, has more of an expansive product line, which includes "chicken" strips, "beef" crumble, and "sausage"– all made out of plants, non-GMO soy, and pea protein.

We recently sat down with Ethan Brown, the CEO of Beyond Meat to discuss why plant-based foods have become so popular. Listen to the episode of The Barron Report below to see what Brown thinks the future holds for the plant-based market and to learn more about Beyond Meat's role in the movement.

Papa John's Founder Resigns From Company's Board and Drops Lawsuits

Earlier in the month, the fast food pizza chain Papa John's and its founder John Schnatter finally came to an agreement whereas Schnatter resigned from his role on the board of directors.

He also dropped two pending lawsuits he filed against the company.

Schnatter had accused the company of trying to limit his control, specifically one suit was "filed over a “poison pill” the company implemented last summer in an effort to prevent him from gaining majority control; Papa John’s will remove an element of the plan that restricted Schnatter's communications with other shareholders," writes "Forbes."

In late 2017, Schnatter stepped down as CEO after the backlash he received from his public statements criticizing the NFL for how the organization handled the controversial athlete protests.

Later in the year, "Forbes" reported that he made offensive comments and racial slurs on a media-training call. He then abruptly resigned as chairman.

The pizza restaurant's shares quickly dropped, causing the pizza chain to look to secure a buyout. The fund Starboard Value instead invested $200 million into the chain and its CEO Jeffrey Smith took on the chairman role.

Schnatter released a statement at the time saying he was happy with the agreement and that Starboard was to "help Papa John’s regain its strength and market position.”

This legal battle, for the time being, has come to an end. Schnatter still owns about 30 percent of the company's stock and as his spokesmen said he “retains his ability to assert new legal claims.”

“I founded Papa John’s, built it from the ground up and remain its largest shareholder,” said Schnatter. “I care deeply about its employees, franchisees, and investors and am thankful that I’ve been able to resolve these important issues, and that we can all focus on the company’s business without the need for additional litigation.”

The host of The Barron Report Paul Barron addresses the legation agreement in this episode. Watch the video above to learn more about Papa John's legal challenges.

America’s 1st Certified Organic QSR Is Giving Sport Fans What They Want

Foodable had the chance to catch up with The Organic Coup, the first certified organic fast food restaurant, once again, but this time at the Winter Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. On this episode of On Foodable, Paul Barron sits down with the brand’s founder, Erica Welton, to talk about latest achievements and future plans.

We first learned about The Organic Coup in 2016 when Foodable had the chance to visit its first location to learn about the brand in depth. Although the certified organic fried chicken remains at the core of this fast food concept with the fried chicken sandwich still being the favored menu item, the brand has started to develop six grab-and-go retail products that are currently featured at some Whole Food locations in Northern California.

This fast food joint has grown to 10 locations in just a little over three years. However, Welton believes that when she looks back at the brand’s history one day she’ll say that the “breakout moment” for The Organic Coup came once it opened a concession shop at a major sports venue like Oracle Park (formerly known as the AT&T Park), home of the San Francisco Giants.

We’re at the “San Francisco Giants ballpark and of course that was not part of the business plan, not a part of our original thought process...,” says Welton. “but, the San Francisco Giants, they had so many fan requests... requesting organic, clean, healthy food... food that they can feel good about eating… and some of their executives had been eating in our San Francisco location and so they brought us over.”

This lead The Organic Coup to later open at the Levi’s Stadium, home of the 49ers. In the last game of the season— during the College National Championship Game— the brand ended up closing as the No. 1 concession stand for the stadium making $37,000 in just four hours.

Check out the video above to learn more about what sets this fast food concept apart to get a clue to their success!

Parent Company of Arby's and Buffalo Wild Wings to Buy Sonic for $2.3 Billion

Last November, Roark Capital, which owns Arby’s® Restaurants Group and has significant stakes in Auntie Anne's, Carvel and Jimmy John's, expanded its empire by announcing that it would be acquiring Buffalo Wild Wings for $2.9 million.

Learn more about how the firm purchased Buffalo Wild Wings just in time for the Super Bowl in the video below.

This year, this company has announced yet another large deal.

Roark will also be acquiring the burger fast food chain Sonic for $2.3 billion.

Sonic, which originally opened as a root beer stand back in 1953, has more than 3,600 stores across the U.S, over 3,000 of which are franchised.

"Sonic shareholders will receive $43.50 per share in cash, which is a 19 percent premium to Sonic's Monday close.The company's stock rose more than 18 percent Tuesday, hitting an all-time high of $44.87 per share," writes "CNBC."

Sonic Drive-in Exterior shot

Sonic, like most staple fast food chains, has struggled to compete in the saturated food market in the last few years. Same-store sales have declined over the last year, but the company did say on an earnings call this month, that the brand expects a 2.5 percent lift in traffic and a 2.6 percent spike in sales at stores that have been open for at least a year.

Roark which formed Inspire Brands in February sees potential in the drive-in restaurant known for its diverse menu, carhops on roller skates, and comedic commercials often set in cars.

"Sonic is a highly differentiated brand and is an ideal fit for the Inspire family," said Paul Brown, CEO of Inspire Brands in a statement.“We have tremendous respect for Sonic’s exceptional team of employees and franchise owners, who have built one of the industry’s most distinctive restaurant brands.”

With this acquisition, the private equity firm Roark will have over 8,000 restaurants in its portfolio with a combined sales of more than $12 billion.

Read more about Arby's parent company buying Sonic at "CNBC."