We are the largest producer and marketer of shell eggs in the United States. In fiscal 2012, we sold approximately 884.3 million dozen shell eggs, which represented approximately 19% of domestic shell egg consumption.
Our total flock of approximately 26.2 million layers and 6.6 million pullets and breeders is the largest in the United States. Layers are mature female chickens, pullets are young female chickens usually under 20 weeks of age, and breeders are male or female chickens used to produce fertile eggs to be hatched for egg production flocks.
We operate in a single segment. Our primary business is the production, grading, packaging, marketing and distribution of shell eggs. We sell most of our shell eggs in 29 states, primarily in the southwestern, southeastern, mid-western and mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. We market our shell eggs through our extensive distribution network to a diverse group of customers, including national and regional grocery store chains, club stores, foodservice distributors and egg product manufacturers. The strength of our position is evidenced by the fact that we have the largest market share in the grocery segment for shell eggs, and we sell shell eggs to a majority of the largest food retailers in the United States.
We are also one of the largest producers and marketers of value-added specialty shell eggs in the United States. Specialty shell eggs include nutritionally enhanced, cage free and organic eggs and are a rapidly growing segment of the market. In fiscal 2012, specialty shell eggs represented approximately 24% of our shell egg dollar sales. Retail prices for specialty eggs are less cyclical than non-specialty shell egg prices and are generally higher due to consumer willingness to pay for the increased benefits from those products. We market our specialty shell eggs under the following brands: Egg-Land’s Best(TM), Farmhouse(TM), and 4-Grain(TM). We are a member of the Egg-Land’s Best, Inc. cooperative, which markets the leading brand in the specialty shell egg segment. We have exclusive license agreements to market and distribute Egg-Land’s Best(TM) specialty shell eggs in major metropolitan areas, including New York City, and a number of states in the southeast and southwest. We market cage free eggs under our trademarked Farmhouse brand and distribute those shell eggs across the southeast and southwest regions of the United States. We market organic, all natural, cage free, vegetarian, and omega-3 eggs under our 4-Grain trademark. We also produce, market and distribute private label specialty shell eggs to several customers. Sales of specialty shell eggs accounted for approximately 16% of our total shell egg dozen volumes in fiscal 2012.
We are also a leader in industry consolidation. Since 1989, we have completed sixteen acquisitions ranging in size from 600,000 layers to 7.5 million layers. In July 2012, we announced a pending acquisition of the commercial egg operations of Pilgrim’s Pride Corporation. We estimate that this acquisition will be completed in August 2012. Despite a market that has been characterized by increasing consolidation, the shell egg production industry remains highly fragmented. According to Egg Industry Magazine, there currently are 52 producers who each own more than one million layers and the ten largest producers own approximately 49% of total industry layers. We believe industry consolidation will continue and we plan to capitalize on opportunities as they arise.