US Walgreens accelerates towards its 100% cage-free goal

Pharmacy and grocer chain Walgreens announced a reduction in its 100% cage-free egg commitment timeline.

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Pharmacy and grocer chain Walgreens announced a reduction in its 100% cage-free egg commitment timeline.

The Illinois-based company’s original cage-free conversion deadline was January 2025 and stated that all its stores’ shell and liquid egg products would comply to the pledge. However, the chain’s recent announcement states that it will meet the commitment sooner than expected, by the end of 2022.

The company has 9,021 locations throughout the U.S., with the majority in Florida, Texas, California, Illinois and New York.

“We’re happy to announce that we’re accelerating our commitment to provide 100 percent cage-free shell and liquid eggs in stores nationwide by the end of this year, based on available supply,” stated the chain.

Transparency and trust

As cage-free commitments have gained speed over the last five years, consumers expect transparency in terms of how companies are progressing and when pledges will be met. Additionally, companies making cage-free pledges should remember that transparency helps build consumer trust.

An example of how a lack of transparency can cause problems is well illustrated by the accusations that were levelled at U.S. fast-food chain Wendy’s last year. 

In 2021, the chain was suspected of violating its cage-free egg commitment. The company was accused of unlawful conduct and misleading its consumers through advertising to believe their breakfast products were made with 100% cage-free eggs.

In response, Wendy’s released a statement explaining that it was offering breakfast at a larger number of restaurants compared to when it originally made the cage-free commitment, meaning that only the original restaurants were covered by the cage-free pledge.

“In 2016, a few hundred Wendy’s restaurants in the U.S. and a handful in Canada served breakfast, which was an optional menu offering for our operators. At that time, we made a commitment to source 100% of our eggs for those breakfast locations from a cage-free environment by 2020,” stated Wendy’s.

“Since 2016, the total egg volumes for the Wendy’s system have increased substantially because we launched breakfast across the U.S. restaurant system in 2020. Approximately 5,800 U.S. restaurants now serve breakfast.”

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