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.