Sonic Corp. has announced plans to phase out gestation crates in its pork supply chain by 2022.
The company's website states: "Sonic is actively working to eliminate gestation crates from its pork supply chain, and intends to reach that goal no later than 2022, although is working toward 2017, the timeframe several large pork producers have set to be fully-transitioned to group housing. Sonic will continue to favor suppliers that raise hogs in a gestation crate-free environment in addition to suppliers that can provide audit and tracking reports for sourcing crate-free pork."
The Humane Society of the United States applauded the chain's announcement on its website.
"Sonic has consistently shown that it takes animal welfare seriously," said Paul Shapiro, vice president of farm animal protection at The HSUS. "We look forward to working with the company to bring about a gestation crate-free future for its products."
In the past six months, McDonald's, Burger King and Wendy's have all announced plans to eliminate gestation crates from their supply chain.
Summer promotion, offerings
To promote its new summer offerings, Sonic has launched a marketing campaign to declare itself as the "official sponsor of the sun."
"When we looked at summer sponsorship opportunities for the Sonic brand, the sun quickly emerged as the ideal fit because of its unrivaled reach and exposure and Sonic's long-standing association with the sun and summer. We believe summer tastes better at Sonic," said James O'Reilly, chief marketing officer.
On June 20, the first day of summer, Sonic invites customers to celebrate with half-price Real Ice Cream shakes all day.
Also, beginning in July for a limited time only, the Sonic menu will feature a trio of new items for the summer season:
- Wholly Guacamole Dog – A grilled premium beef hot dog topped with Wholly Guacamole-brand guacamole, pepper jack cheese, tomatoes, jalapenos and onions and finished with zesty cheese sauce in a warm, poppy seed bun.
- Chili Cheese Fritos Coney – A grilled premium all-beef hot dog topped with warm chili, chili cheese Fritos corn chips, shredded cheddar cheese, onions and mustard in a warm bun.
- Island Breeze Slush – An icy, tropical blend of pina colada slush and real fruit. Available in your choice of strawberry or pineapple.
The July launch coincides with National Hot Dog month. Sonic also will continue to offer half-price shakes after 8 p.m. all summer.
Finally, Sonic's "Two Guys" are setting out on a road trip this summer – billed as The Great Skeedaddle – and are visiting drive-ins across the country. Sonic fans can head to the brand's Facebook page to follow the Two Guys' journey in real time, visit their Facebook friends along a personalized road trip route and earn a chance to win Sonic coupons and $5,000 toward a road trip of their own.
Read more about marketing and promotions.