The list of U.S. and Canadian companies pledging to source only eggs from cage-free farms continues to grow, with IHOP, Applebee’s, Golden Corral, CVS and chains within the Canadian company SIR Corp., vowing to phase out the use of eggs from caged hens.

IHOP and Applebee’s

DineEquity Inc., the parent company of IHOP and Applebee’s, on February 18 announced plans to serve 100 percent cage-free eggs at all locations by no later than 2025.

The company first took steps to use cage-free eggs in 2008 but not until now had it committed to exclusively use cage-free eggs.

"Between IHOP and Applebee's we have thousands of restaurants in the U.S. serving eggs on a daily basis, so our procurement policies can have a significant impact," said Julia Stewart, chairman and CEO of DineEquity. "We're committed to sourcing eggs and other ingredients in a responsible manner that meets our guests' expectations, considers scientific principles and promotes the welfare of animals. The evolution of the ingredients in our kitchens is an ongoing journey that we are approaching thoughtfully."

Though Applebee's uses eggs in its kitchens, the biggest impact of the change to cage-free eggs will be at IHOP, as the leading family dining brand serves 65 different signature, made-to-order breakfast options, including omelets, breakfast samplers, scrambles and pancakes.

In conjunction with the transition to cage-free eggs, DineEquity also announced a formal partnership with Suzanne T. Millman, PhD., an associate professor at Iowa State University and a respected expert on animal welfare, to advise on the continual development of comprehensive animal welfare policies.

Golden Corral

Golden Corral, a grill-buffet restaurant chain with 484 restaurants operating in 41 states, plans to completely transition to using only cage-free eggs within the next ten years.

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The company, which uses eggs in many of its popular menu items, also offers a weekend breakfast buffet, which includes scrambled eggs, omelets and breakfast burritos.

“At Golden Corral, we are pleased to report that we have already begun our move to source shell eggs from a cage-free environment,” Golden Corral President and CEO Lance Trenary said in a press release. “We will continue to work with our suppliers until we achieve 100% cage-free shell eggs in all domestic locations. Although there are challenges related to limited supply in the marketplace, we expect to achieve our goal within 10 years.”

CVS                                                                                                                       

CVS Health, which operates pharmacy stores across the United States, says it plans to make the transition to cage-free eggs by 2025.

The company stated: “CVS Health is committed to the ethical treatment of animals as part of our corporate social responsibility. While there is still work to be done across the industry to increase supply and address market conditions, we are committed to working with our suppliers, given our relatively small egg business, toward a goal of a 100 percent cage-free egg offering by 2025.”

SIR Corp.

Canada’s SIR Corp., the parent company of the restaurant chains Overview, Scaddabush, Jack Astor’s, Canyon Creek, Alice Fazooli’s, Far Niente, REDS, Four, Petit Four and Loose Moose, plans to switch completely to cage-free eggs within just months.

The company made the following announcement on its website: “As part of our commitment to sourcing only sustainable food products, SIR Corp has committed to procuring all of our eggs only from hens that live 100 percent cage-free - as of no later than September 2016.”