U.S. Egg Market Cracks After McDonald’s Pledges Cage-Free McMuffins

McDonald’s Corp.’s mission to use only cage-free eggs is rippling across the market.

The world’s largest restaurant company is about a third of the way to meeting its goal of being entirely cage-free in the U.S. by 2025 — a target it shares with a broad array of retailers and food producers. The expected surge in demand has sparked barn upgrades across the country over the last several years, with producers building facilities that give hens a bit more space. This increase in supply is reducing cage-free eggs’ market premium over regular eggs.

And the price gap is expected to narrow even further — a welcome drop for U.S. consumers who are eating the most eggs per capita since 1973. The egg industry’s investment is a response to rising demand for cage-free eggs, which are regarded as more humane and even healthier, while producers are hoping to tap premium prices.

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