Cal-Maine approves investment in egg product manufacturer

Cal-Maine’s Board of Directors confirmed an $18.5 million investment that will target and create high value commercial product solutions.

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Chalabala |
Chalabala |
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On October 4, Cal-Maine’s Board of Directors confirmed an $18.5 million investment that will target and create high value commercial product solutions. The company, MeadowCreek Foods, LLC, will specialize in hard-cooked and extended shelf-life egg products. The facility will be located in Neosho, Missouri and referred to as “MeadowCreek.” The egg producer will be the preferred supplier for the new MeadowCreek manufacturer, providing conventional and specialty eggs.

While Cal-Maine Foods will maintain control of the company, Ronald B. Bennett, serving as the president, will be leading the new management team. Bennett, who has been with Cal-Maine Foods since 1991, will direct MeadowCreek’s marketing plan towards growth in the foodservice and retail markets.

“We are pleased to announce our strategic investment in MeadowCreek, which provides Cal-Maine Foods an opportunity to not only grow our presence in the egg products sector but position ourselves to better seek out solutions for economically feeding a growing world population,” said Dolph Baker (CEO and chairman of Cal-Maine Foods).

“While approximately 30 percent of produced eggs are currently directed to further processing in the U.S., as specialty eggs become more popular, we see the demand for more specialty egg products including cage-free products, to provide for industrial, food service and retail needs. We believe MeadowCreek will play an important role in meeting this demand and look forward to our partnership with Ronald and his operations team in support of this venture.”

The demand

The cage-free egg and egg product demand increase over the last decade has provided opportunities for producers to grow exponentially. For instance, the purchase of Red River Valley Egg Farm and MeadowCreek are two significant transactions Cal-Maine Foods has taken in the last six months. 

At the Bank of America 2021 Consumer & Retail Technology Conference earlier this year, Cal-Maine’s leaders weighed in on the demand potential.

"We believe we have significant growth opportunities, organically as well as acquisitions. As Dolph said, we participate in a highly fragmented market. We have a very strong balance sheet that can support these growth initiatives," explained Max Bowman (vice president, chief financial officer, treasurer, secretary and director of the company). 

"We have to match our production to their demand. We believe strongly in offering (consumers) the choices they want to have. We have also said we have spent over $400 million in preparing for the cage-free markets but ultimately we have to look at our customer base,"

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