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Confusion over cage-free egg pledges continues

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Nastco, iStockphoto.com

Taco Bell’s latest announcement reveals an apparent oversight others likely made when committing to source only cage-free eggs

January 4, 2017

It’s been said and blogged before that many, if not all, of the cage-free purchase pledges made by restaurant companies are a little vague, if not confusing.

When a company says it will source “100 percent cage-free eggs” they don’t typically define what cage-free means. They also often don’t specify exactly what products to be sold and served will contain cage-free eggs.

A recent press release issued by Taco Bell, a Yum! Brands subsidiary, illustrates the latter.

Not quite 100 percent cage free

Taco Bell on January 3 announced that it was “expanding its commitment to serve 100 percent cage-free egg ingredients.”

The restaurant chain already met its commitment to serve only cage-free eggs by the end of 2016, so what do they mean by that? According to the company’s latest statement, all of the eggs served as part of the chain’s breakfast menu are from cage-free operations, but the goal that was met did not include the eggs used as ingredients in its avacodo ranch sauce, creamy jalapeno sauce, habanero sauce and creamy chipotle sauce.

Looking back at the November 2015 press release in which Taco Bell announced its goal to source only cage-free eggs by the end of 2016, it did not address that the goal would only include eggs as part of its breakfast menu.

This is what it said: “Taco Bell today extended its long-standing promise to delivering quality food at great value by announcing that 100 percent of its more than 6,000 U.S. corporate and franchise-owned restaurants will exclusively serve cage-free eggs by December 31, 2016.”

So we now know it wasn’t exactly exclusive.

Commitments tough to fulfill

I have no reason to believe that Taco Bell was trying to be deceptive about its transition to cage-free eggs, but rather may not have took into account every ingredient and sauce served there that included eggs as an ingredient before making such an ambitious pledge.

Others to make such commitments are likely going through the same quandary. There is so much to look at when it comes to eliminating cage-free eggs entirely from your business.

At least Taco Bell took the right approach in its latest announcement. It noticed an area that didn’t quite live up to its cage-free egg commitment, and in an effort to make good on its word and be transparent with the public, it explained what has been done and will be done.

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