Case | HBS Case Collection | December 2005 (Revised October 2006)

Nest Fresh Eggs (A)

by Teresa M. Amabile and Victoria Winston

Abstract

Cyd Szymanski's cage-free egg business was threatened by large caged-hen companies that saw new profit potential in the industry she had helped build. Szymanski had based her company, Nest Fresh Eggs, on a strong personal belief that people deserved healthier alternatives for food and that animals deserved to be treated well. Not only had Szymanski remained true to her convictions, but she also saw financial success with what had begun as a very small family operation. Over time, more consumers understood the health and ethical benefits associated with cage-free eggs and were willing to pay a premium price to purchase them. But, during Nest Fresh's 14 years in business, the egg industry had undergone a number of changes. Large caged egg producers started to enter the cage-free market. Szymanski believed that these producers were motivated solely by profit. They were developing small cage-free production facilities side by side with their caged operations. They also had the financial clout to offer lower prices, something the small independent cage-free operators like Nest Fresh were far less able to do. Szymanski had to come up with alternatives, some of which might require back-pedaling on her convictions.

Keywords: Motivation and Incentives;

Citation:

Amabile, Teresa M., and Victoria Winston. "Nest Fresh Eggs (A)." Harvard Business School Case 806-056, December 2005. (Revised October 2006.)