Taco Bell to serve cage-free in all U.S. restaurants by 2016

Brand expects to be first national quick service restaurant to completely implement the change.

Taco Bell announced today that 100% of its more than 6,000 U.S. corporate and franchise-owned restaurants will exclusively serve cage-free eggs by December 31, 2016. After several years of planning, the brand expects to be the first national quick service restaurant to completely implement the change.

“We are a brand that has our finger on the pulse of not only what appeals to our customers’ tastes but also the issues they care most about, and they tell us they want food that’s simple and easy to understand,” said Brian Niccol, chief executive officer of Taco Bell Corp. “Implementing this change at record pace underscores that we are always listening and responding to our customers, while doing what is right for our business.”

Teaming with its strategic partner, Taco Bell will transition to cage-free eggs in an industry-leading 12-month time frame. Taco Bell’s eggs will be verified as “American Humane Certified” based on cage-free egg production standards set by the American Humane Association.

“Delivering a sustainable and safe egg supply to Taco Bell restaurants nationwide in one year is possible due to the brand’s large yet flexible infrastructure, and years of close collaboration with our partners,” Liz Matthews, chief food innovation officer of Taco Bell Corp.

Taco Bell also said that by the beginning of 2016, it will deliver on its stated goal of removing artificial flavors and colors, added trans fat, high fructose corn syrup, and unsustainable palm oil from its core menu items. The company also plans to introduce aspartame-free diet Pepsi products in all of its U.S. restaurants beginning in early 2016.

The company said the latest announcements were part of expanding the company’s policies related to food simplicity, transparency, and choice, which complement its goal of eliminating additional preservatives and additives where possible by end of 2017.

“Ingredient transparency is more important than ever to the next generation of Taco Bell customers. That is why we remain hungry and challenge ourselves to set ambitious yet achievable commitments that make our food better, without ever compromising the flavor that our fans crave,” said Matthews.

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