Customers dining at Taco Bell.
Photograph by Carolyn Cole — LA Times via Getty Images
By Michal Addady
November 16, 2015

Taco Bell announced Monday its 6,000 U.S. location will serve only cage-free eggs by the end of 2016.

If completed on time, Taco Bell would be the first U.S. fast food chain to make the change in all restaurants. The company says it’s been working on the switch for the last several years, according to a press release.

The use of cage-free eggs could give Taco Bell an edge in the fast food breakfast market. The restaurant introduced its Biscuit Taco in March when breakfast accounted for just 6% of the brand’s sales in an attempt to one day push that number up to 20%.

“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,” said CEO Brian Niccol in a statement.

Taco Bell, which is owned by Yum! Brands (YUM), has also recently been moving away from artificial ingredients and became the first fast food chain to have menu items approved by the American Vegetarian Association.

The eggs in its breakfast menu will be labeled “American Humane Certified” based on standards set by the American Humane Society, which claims that about 500,000 hens will benefit from the change.

Taco Bell says it will be the first fast food chain to fully implement cage-free eggs in its restaurants. McDonald’s has said that its 16,000 locations would change its egg supply within 10 years while Burger King (BKW) announced in 2012 that its transition would take five years.

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