Nestlé Pledges To Use Only Cage-Free Eggs By 2020

The list of major food companies and restaurants pledging to only use cage-free eggs in the future grew by one today: Nestlé announced a new goal of only using cage-free eggs in its wide array of products by 2020. 

The commitment to stop using eggs laid by caged hens in its U.S. products makes Nestlé the largest packaged food company to go cage-free.

In its announcement on Tuesday, the world’s largest food maker said it will use nearly 20 million pounds of cage-free eggs annually in its products, including Toll House cookie dough, Haagen-Dazs ice cream, Buitoni pasta, Lean Cuisine breakfast meals, and Stouffer’s breakfast items.

Currently, the company says none of the eggs used in its products are cage-free.

“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,” Paul Grimwood, Chairman and CEO of Nestlé USA, said in a statement.

Nestlé’s move toward cage-free eggs was quickly met with applause by activists and animal rights groups.

“We’ve been proud to work with Nestlé for the last several years on this and other animal welfare initiatives,” Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of The Humane Society of the U.S., said in a blog post. “This is the humane economy in action, with major players like Nestlé and so many more working to eliminate cruel cages and other inhumane practices from their supply chains, demanding better for animals, and proving that doing good is an important part of doing well.”

Nestlé is just the latest food company to join the cage-free egg movement. Rival General Mills announced its intention to use only cage-free eggs by 2025 last month.

In November, Kellogg promised in October that it would only use eggs from cage-free hens by 2035.

In the restaurant world, Panera promised to source only cage-free eggs by 2020; McDonald’s pledged to go the cage-free route for all eggs served in its 16,000 U.S. and Canadian locations within 10 years; Taco Bell is aiming for cage-free eggs by the end of 2016 and Burger King is working toward a 2017 deadline for its cage-free initiative.

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