The Happy Egg Co is looking to crack the US, as it seeks to establish its free-range eggs ahead of a Californian ban on caged eggs in 2015.
Packs of 12 Happy Eggs (rsp: $4.99 to $5.69) started rolling out to 240 Kroger/Ralph’s stores in California this week, with listings in Fresh & Easy stores - owned by Tesco - from 7 November.
About 95% of the 90 billion eggs produced each year in the US are from caged systems, but California has decided to outlaw caged eggs from 2015. This made the sunshine state a perfect starting point for Happy Egg’s first venture beyond the UK, said chief operating officer David Wagstaff.
Happy Egg is targeting $100m in US sales, although it has not set a specific timeframe for achieving this.
“The market is very different from the UK as it is almost exclusively supplied by intensive eggs, so we have a considerable task to bring Happy Eggs to the consumer’s attention and to educate them as to why we believe free-range is best for hens and the best way to produce eggs,” said head of brand Rob Newell.
The US launch would initially be supported via social media campaigns and a US website, www.thehappyeggco.com, but Newell would not rule out TV advertising in the future.
Brand owner Noble Foods has been working on the US launch for the past two years, and has the support of the Humane Society of America and Compassion in World Farming for its US launch.
The company will also look at launching in other states if progress and legislation allows it.
The eggs will be produced on a farm in Arkansas, which Noble said offered the perfect mix of temperate climate, proximity to grain fields and easy access to other natural resources. The farm will be modelled on Happy Egg Co welfare systems in the UK.