Social Good

Tracking the Change to Cage-Free

By Tom Piper


Every day, it seems, we see a new big name restaurant or food company announce that they are going cage free.

The list below comes from Anna Roth on Civil Eats. And it’s frankly astounding.

As we’ve said before, this is great news for hens, and people, and it’s long overdue!

However, we continue to caution that this scale of demand will incentivize the very same producers who have been running caged factory farms all these years to convert their operations to cage free. This cannot fail to be an improvement, but given these companies’ histories, we should remain somewhat skeptical about how truly humane the new systems will be. They will certainly continue to be massive in scale, and no chickens in these systems will ever see the outdoors. This is why we’re confident that there will continue to be demand for our Certified Humane, Free Range eggs from Nellie’s (and companies like ours!) and our support for small, human scale farms.

By end of 2016: Shake Shack, Taco Bell

By end of 2017: Au Bon Pain, Burger King, Hilton

By end of 2019: Compass Group

By end of 2020: Aramark, Arby’s, Barilla, Caribou Coffee, Einstein Bros. Bagels, Mondelez International (2025 in Europe), Nestlé, Panera Bread, Peet’s Coffee, Starbucks, Unilever, Wendy’s

By end of 2022: California Pizza Kitchen, Quizno’s, Royal Caribbean Cruises

By end of 2025: Campbell Soup, Carnival Cruises, Con Agra, Dunkin Donuts, Flowers Foods, General Mills, Jack in the Box (though plan to “transition the majority of our egg supply to cage-free by 2020”), Kellogg’s, McDonald’s, Norwegian Cruise Lines, Sodexo, Subway, Target, TGI Friday’s, Taco John’s

By end of 2026: Denny’s

TBD (have announced intention but not timeline): Cheesecake Factory, Costco, Hyatt, Michael Foods, Rembrandt Foods, Wal-Mart

Who’s missing from the list?

Major grocery corporations like Kroger and Safeway; Target is the only one that has committed to a date. Costco and Wal-Mart, two of the nation’s largest egg retailers, have both announced their intentions but have no timeline.