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McDonald's (MCD) Puts Health First, to Use Cage-Free Eggs

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McDonald's Corp.MCD recently declared that it will change the way it sources its eggs and use cage free eggs. The burger giant has announced that over the next 10 years, it will completely shift to cage-free eggs for its approximately 16,000 restaurants in the U.S. and Canada. The decision has been taken to meet consumers' preference for quality food. Cage-free systems ensure a relatively better level of animal welfare.

McDonald's USA already purchases approximately two billion eggs annually to serve on its breakfast menus, which includes popular breakfast sandwiches, such as the Egg McMuffin and Egg White Delight. With the company slated to offer breakfast items all day from Oct 6 at its U.S. units, the gradual use of cage-free eggs at its outlets will attract health conscious consumers.

However, this is not the first time that this burger giant is trying to meet consumers' preference by offering healthy products. In Mar 2015, the company announced that it will discontinue the use of chicken raised with antibiotics that are important to human medicine within the next two years. (Read: Will Antibiotic-Free Chicken Revive McDonald's Fortunes? )

Meanwhile, we would like to remind investors that this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) company has been trying hard to boost its sales and post positive comps. In order to boost comps in the U.S., which represents 40% of the company's business, the company is focusing on product innovation, offering a value menu and rolling out more limited-time offerings. Also, the company is working on trimming complicated menus to speed up service and focusing on order accuracy through new operational procedures and training programs. Moreover, the company is offering customized burgers through its "Create Your Taste" program.

"Good for You" Products Abound

Health consciousness is increasing among the masses and people are gradually refraining from food with higher calories, fat and sugars but low on vitamins, minerals and other micro-nutrients. Therefore, food companies are increasingly changing their priorities to focus more on "good for you" products.

Keeping up with the trend, consumer goods company General Mills Inc. GIS pledged to use only free-range and cage-free eggs for its products in Jul 2015 (read: General Mills to Use Free-Range, Cage-Free Eggs ). In Apr 2015, along with the Humane Society of the United States, quick service restaurant chain, Dunkin' Brands Group, Inc. DNKN announced that 10% of all eggs used for its breakfast sandwiches in the U.S. will be cage free by the end of 2016.

Food companies are also pledging to remove artificial colors and use simpler ingredients in the products they offer.

In Feb 2015, The Hershey Company HSY announced its plans to use simpler ingredients like locally produced milk, roasted California almonds, cocoa beans and sugar in its products. While Panera Bread Company plans to remove 150 artificial ingredients from its kitchens by 2017, PepsiCo, Inc. has decided to drop the artificial sweetener aspartame from Diet Pepsi. Meanwhile, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. uses genetically modified organism free ingredients in its food items.

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HERSHEY CO/THE (HSY): Free Stock Analysis Report

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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