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Cal-Maine Foods investing in new egg products manufacturing company

Investment will expand company's reach in foodservice and retail marketplace.

Cal-Maine Foods Inc. announced this week that the company’s board of directors has approved a strategic investment that will specialize in high value commercial product solutions targeting specific needs in the food industry. The initial focus will include hard-cooked and extended shelf-life egg product lines. The new entity, located in Neosho, Missouri, will operate as MeadowCreek Foods LLC (MeadowCreek).

Cal-Maine Foods will capitalize MeadowCreek with up to $18.5 million in debt and equity to purchase property and equipment and to fund working capital. Cal-Maine Foods will retain a controlling interest in the venture. The MeadowCreek management team will be led by Ronald Bennett. Cal-Maine Foods will serve as the preferred provider to supply specialty and conventional eggs that MeadowCreek needs to manufacture egg products. MeadowCreek’s marketing plan will expand Cal-Maine Food’s reach in the foodservice and retail marketplace and bring new opportunities in the restaurant, institutional and industrial food products arena.

Bennett, who will serve as president of MeadowCreek, brings 30 years of egg industry experience to the new venture. Bennett most recently joined with DeJong Operational Management & Consulting to create, develop, and install operational improvements and solutions to high value ready-to-eat food and biotech companies. Previously, he served as chief operating officer of Prime Foods from 2011 - 2019. Bennett also served as director of egg products at Moark LLC, which he joined in 1998. Bennett began his career in the egg products division of Cal-Maine Foods in 1991.

“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, chairman and chief executive officer of Cal-Maine Foods. “While approximately 30% 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.”

He added, “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.”

Cal-Maine Foods is primarily engaged in the production, grading, packing, marketing and sale of fresh shell eggs, including conventional, cage-free, organic, pasture-raised, free range and nutritionally enhanced eggs. The company, which is headquartered in Ridgeland, Mississippi, is the largest producer and distributor of fresh shell eggs in the United States and sells the majority of its shell eggs in states across the southwestern, southeastern, mid-western and mid-Atlantic regions of the United States.

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