Growth Strategy & Acquisitions
For many years, we have pursued a growth strategy focused on the acquisition of existing shell egg production and processing facilities, as well as the construction of new and more efficient facilities. Since the beginning of fiscal 1989, we have completed 20 acquisitions. In addition, we have built numerous "in-line" shell egg production and processing facilities as well as pullet growing facilities which added to our capacity. The capacity increases have been accompanied by the retirement of older and less efficient facilities. The "in-line" facilities provide gathering, grading and packaging of shell eggs by less labor-intensive, more efficient, mechanical means. We continue to upgrade and modify our facilities, and invest in new facilities, to meet changing demand as many food service customers, restaurant chains, and retailers have committed to exclusive offerings of cage-free eggs over the next several years.
Our total flock, including pullets, layers and breeders increased from approximately 32.8 million at the end of fiscal 2012 to approximately 45.6 million as of June 3, 2017. The dozens of shell eggs sold increased from approximately 884.3 million in fiscal 2012 to approximately 1,031.1 million for fiscal 2017.
During fiscal 2017, we acquired substantially all of the egg production, processing and distribution assets of Foodonics International, Inc. and of Happy Hen Egg Farms, Inc.
We continue to pursue opportunities to acquire companies engaged in the production and sale of shell eggs. We will continue to evaluate and selectively pursue acquisitions that will expand our shell egg production capabilities in existing markets and broaden our geographic reach. We have extensive experience identifying, valuing, executing, and integrating acquisitions and we intend to leverage that experience in the evaluation and execution of future acquisitions. We will seek to acquire regional shell egg businesses with significant market share and long-standing customer relationships. We believe enhancing our national presence will help us further strengthen our relationships with existing customers, many of whom have operations across the U.S.