The Sunny Queen brand has been selling eggs now for five decades.
Today, it is a multi-faceted business that turns over $350 million each year and employs 140 people and is available in every Australian state.
In 2017, Sunny Queen invested $40 million in a food service factory at Carole Park to produce omelettes, fritters, patties, poached eggs, and egg bakes for the out of home breakfast market.
Following on from that success, the company commissioned an $800,000 robotics line for omelettes that was specifically designed for the company and installed this year.
Sunny Queen Australia managing director John O’Hara said the location of their food service facility in Ipswich is a big advantage.
“Where we built the facility at Carole Park puts us central to all transport hubs,” he said.
“There are the motorways that head north, west and east on our doorstep as well as having easy access to the Port of Brisbane.
“We also have plenty of space with enough room to expand.”
The new robotics line has opened up enormous opportunity for the company allowing it to further diversify.
“We are the first to make omelettes this way,” he said.
“The great opportunity we saw was for convenience, for portable and nutritious food because no one is really presenting a healthy breakfast alternative.
“We pushed into hospitals, aged care and eventually airlines and quick service restaurants for people looking for quick simple solution to their cooking needs.”
Mr O’Hara said the fact that so many people don’t have time to eat breakfast at home has seen Sunny Queen set its sights on the out-of-home breakfast market, which is worth $7.4 billion.
“French toast is our newest product offering for foodservice – a café breakfast favourite, made easy for food service outlets by Sunny Queen,” he said.
“It is the only snap-frozen French toast option currently available in the Australian market.”
Mr O’Hara said Sunny Queen was also continuing to invest in free range egg farms to meet increased consumer demand.
“The biggest growth of consumption is in free range eggs, with free range now taking 40 per cent of the market,” he said.
“We are very proud to set the benchmark for free range eggs, with 1,500 hens per hectare giving our hens six times more space when outdoors than the Australian Free Range Standard.”
Sunny Queen’s range of egg products has expanded into other markets around the world, including New Zealand, Hong Kong and the Middle East.
“Three generations of farming knowledge is embedded into the way we produce eggs at Sunny Queen,” Mr O’Hara said.
“It is this generational knowledge and passion for farming that has set the standard for what Sunny Queen is today.”
Sunny Queen Recipe – Festive Eton Mess Christmas Wreath
Sunny Queen Australia’s Festive Eton Mess combines crunchy meringue before being topped with lashings of vanilla cream, cherries, red berries and a sprinkle of Christmas plum pudding.
This Christmas season, Sunny Queen Australia chef, Katrina Neill has put her own festive spin on the traditionally English dessert to create the eton mess.
“Not to take away from the classic pavlova which in itself is a beautiful Christmas treat and Aussie favourite, but an eton mess is a nice change and can take away some of the pressure of getting the perfect pavlova meringue,” Katrina said.
“An eton mess doesn’t just have the word ‘mess’ in it because of where it was first consumed, it gives the cook permission to smash meringue and beautify it with cream and decorations.”
Festive Eton Mess Christmas Wreath Recipe – Three parts
Part one: Meringues
6 egg whites
300g caster sugar
1 pinch of sea salt
Step 1. Preheat oven to 120°c.
Step 2. Place the egg whites into a clean and dry bowl that has been wiped with white vinegar.
Beat with an electric whisk on a medium speed until it forms stiff peaks.
Step 3. With your mixer still running, gradually add the caster sugar and salt, then whisk on a high speed for 7 to 8 minutes, or until white and glossy.
To test whether it’s done you can pinch some between your fingers – if it feels completely smooth it’s ready; if it’s slightly granular it needs a little more whisking.
Step 4. Line two large baking trays with greaseproof paper.
Divide the mixture between each tray, then use the back of a spoon to shape and swirl it across the trays, leaving a 3cm gap around the edges.
Bake in the oven for 1 hour 10 minutes, or until crisp on the outside and a little soft and sticky inside.
Once cooked, leave the meringues to cool.
Part two: Cream cheese and Berry Mouse
500g cream cheese
225ml thickened cream
70g icing sugar
juice of ½ a lemon
10ml vanilla essence.
raspberries and strawberries (a handful of each)
Step 1. Beat cream cheese, icing sugar & vanilla with a paddle mixer until smooth and slightly aerated.
Add cream and continue to beat until smooth.
Add lemon juice and mix through.
Step 2. Roughly chop strawberries in halves or quarters – add these and the raspberries to the mix, and mix again very briefly so berries are partly broken up and mixed in.
Cover and refrigerate.
Part three: Whipped cream and assemble wreath
300ml thickened cream
10ml vanilla essence
2 tablespoons icing sugar mixture
Step 1. Whisk all together until thick.
Cover and refrigerate
Step 1. Build your Christmas wreath with layers of mousse, meringue, cream and berries.
Step 2. Use cherries, red berries, fresh holly or green leaf garnish and raspberry coulis to present or chocolate shards and brandy snap.