In an effort to meet consumers’ changing expectations and preferences, McDonald’s said Wednesday it will fully transition to using only cage-free eggs at all of its nearly 16,000 restaurants in the US and Canada over the next decade.

"Our customers are increasingly interested in knowing more about their food and where it comes from," said Mike Andres, McDonald's USA president. "Our decision to source only cage-free eggs reinforces the focus we place on food quality and our menu to meet and exceed our customers' expectations."

The fast food giant’s US business purchases two billion eggs each year to serve on its breakfast menu items while McDonald’s Canada purchases 120 million. According to the company, McDonald's USA has been purchasing more than 13 million cage-free eggs annually.

"Animal welfare has always been important to us and our customers," said Marion Gross, senior vice president and chief supply chain officer of McDonald's North America. "Today's announcement is another big milestone building on our work with industry experts and suppliers to improve the treatment of animals."

 Today's news follows other actions announced this year by McDonald's USA to source only chicken raised without antibiotics important to human medicine by 2017 and to offer milk jugs of low-fat white milk and fat-free chocolate milk from cows that have not been treated with rbST, an artificial growth hormone.