cage-free chickens
Subway and Arby’s are the latest foodservice chains pledging to source cage-free eggs.

MILFORD, Conn. – Subway, which already has begun the transition to cage-free eggs in select markets in the United States and Canada, now says it will complete a full transition across its 30,000 North American locations by 2025.

“Serving food that reflects our commitment to the humane treatment of animals has long been a priority to our brand,” said Elizabeth Stewart, director of corporate social responsibility for the Subway brand. “We know how important it is for consumers to feel confident that the food they eat is ethically sourced, and our customers care deeply about animal welfare. As a result of this commitment, not only can you come to our restaurants for a great-tasting, quality, affordable meal, but our customers will be able to enjoy delicious breakfast sandwiches made with cage-free eggs.”

The commitment builds on a number of other menu and ingredient improvements announced by Subway over the past year, including the restaurant chain’s decision to remove all artificial colors, flavors and preservatives from North American menu items by 2017 and its plan to serve only antibiotic-free proteins in US restaurants by 2025. Additionally, Subway said it continues to monitor layer hen housing research to identify future, best-practice menu and ingredient solutions that meet the highest standards of animal welfare.

“Subway customers across Europe are served only eggs from free-range hens and in Australia are served eggs from cage-free hens,” Stewart said. “Major menu changes like this take time, but we will keep our customers updated every step of the way as we work diligently with our suppliers to reach our goals. As more and more chains come on board with their commitment we want customers to remember you have ours.”

This month, Arby’s also announced plans to switch to cage-free eggs by 2020. The company said the move is part of the chain’s commitment to keeping with industry trends of quality, wholesomeness and adherence to US Dept. of Agriculture welfare standards.

“While eggs are a small part of our menu and less than 400 of our restaurants serve breakfast, Arby’s believes this is an important commitment and means that our eggs will be sourced from hens raised in a cage-free aviary system, which allows hens to roam freely through open spaces,” the company said in a statement.

Recently, Nestle, General Mills, Inc. and Kellogg Co. pledged to provide 100 percent cage-free eggs for their US operations over the next 10 years.