Cal-Maine Foods has entered into a new joint venture for specialty egg sales with Hickman’s Egg Ranch Inc. Based in Buckeye, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix in western Maricopa County, Hickman’s Egg Ranch has been family-owned and operated since 1944. With processing operations located in Arizona, Colorado and California, and a capacity for approximately 6.0 million laying hens, Hickman’s Egg Ranch ranks among the top twenty family egg farms in the United States.
Pursuant to this transaction, the new joint venture, known as Southwest Specialty Eggs LLC, will acquire the Eggland’s Best, Inc. franchise for the state of Arizona with exclusive licensing agreements for the sale of Eggland’s Best and Land O’ Lakes branded specialty eggs and other premium brands. Sales of Eggland’s Best specialty eggs accounted for approximately 14.3 percent of Cal-Maine’s total shell egg sales in fiscal year 2013.
Commenting on the announcement, Dolph Baker, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Cal-Maine Foods stated: “We are very pleased to enter into this new joint venture to market Eggland’s Best and Land O’Lakes branded specialty eggs in Arizona, a new market area for Cal-Maine Foods. This transaction is commensurate with our growth strategy to expand our market reach in specialty egg sales. Consumer demand for specialty eggs has continued to grow, and Cal-Maine Foods is well positioned to meet this demand with a variety of healthy choices for our customers. Hickman’s Egg Ranch has a long history of excellence and a solid reputation in this market area. We are excited about the opportunity to work together to market and distribute these popular and well-respected brands in Arizona.”
Glenn Hickman, chief executive officer of Hickman’s Egg Ranch, added: “We are very proud to join Cal-Maine Foods as a partner in this new joint venture. We have a unique opportunity to leverage our established customer relationships and market expertise in Arizona and work with one of the largest producers and marketers of value-added specialty eggs in the United States.”