Dean McKenna, division supply chain leader for McDonald's Corp., shared his perspective on purchasing eggs at the recent International Egg Commission Conference in London. 

McDonald's restaurants, which consume approximately 2.4 billion eggs annually, is acutely aware of consumer sentiment and attempts to predict trends which may influence demand and company image. 

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In 1998 McDonald's made the decision to source all UK eggs from free-range farms. The company considers that this decision allowed McDonald's to move ahead of the market by assessing public sentiment. McDonald's philosophy incorporates the principle of understanding and satisfying customer needs. 

McKenna considers that consumers are concerned in their food choices including quality, safety and origin. Welfare is emerging as a new concern. In this context, consumers are influenced by the publicity generated by organized advocates of welfare. Misleading information should be countered by more recent and factual publicity generated by the egg industry.