clock menu more-arrow no yes
Paula Bronstein/Getty Images

All the big chains are doing it: Bacon milkshake creator Jack in the Box just announced it's switching to 100 percent cage-free eggs. Jack in the Box, which has close to 3,000 stores, has an extensive breakfast menu featuring eggs in sandwiches, burritos, croissants, and more.

Of course, major moves like this one take time to implement: " ... We have informed our egg suppliers of our expectation that they transition the majority of our egg supply to cage-free by 2020, and to fully transition to cage-free eggs by 2025," says the company's latest animal welfare report. If this narrative sounds familiar, it's because Jack in the Box's announcement follows similar proclamations by a number of big chains including McDonald's, Starbucks, Panera, and Taco Bell.

As the biggest names in fast food climb aboard the cage-free bandwagon, how will the U.S. agricultural system keep up? Currently, just 10 percent of eggs produced in America are cage-free. The Humane Society of the United States' Senior Food Policy Director Matthew Prescott tells Eater this is precisely why most companies are instituting five-to-ten year timelines to make the switch to cage free, saying, "Currently, about 90% of all eggs produced in the U.S. come from caged hens, so these policies will indeed cause a major overhaul of American egg production." And change is definitely in the air: The nation's third-biggest egg producer, Rembrandt Foods, recently announced it's going 100 percent cage-free.

Sign up for the Sign up for the Eater newsletter

The freshest news from the food world every day