Quick service restaurant chain McDonald's is transitioning into serving eggs from free-range hens at all 164 of its locations in New Zealand by the end of 2016.

The decision was announced on July 13 but follows the company’s move to cage-free eggs for the McDonald’s restaurants in Christchurch and Dunedin that occurred in 2009, according to a report from NZ Herald.

It is estimated that when the transition is completed, McDonald’s will buy about 9 percent of all free-range eggs sold in the country. That amounts to about 13 million eggs annually.

McDonald's New Zealand managing director Patrick Wilson said the move was in response to consumer demand via the company’s website.


Wilson added that the restaurant chain’s suppliers – including Otaika Valley Free Range Eggs and Zeagold Foods -- are investing in cage-free egg facilities to help meet the demand.

McDonald’s announcement to switch to cage-free eggs in New Zealand follows a similar decision announced by the company regarding its restaurants in Australia. Less than one year ago, the company stated it would serve only eggs from cage-free operations by the end of 2017.  In 2010, McDonald’s stopped serving eggs from caged hens at all of the company’s locations in Europe.