The American Egg Board (AEB) has introduced its new Strategic Vision & Five-Year Plan after it was approved by the AEB board at its annual board meeting in September. Implementation is now underway.
The ambitious plan includes creation of an innovation center and an advanced insights hub, designed to be critical resources for the industry, as well as substantial initiatives surrounding sustainability, advancing egg farmers, seizing global opportunities and more.
“In the wake of a global pandemic, a new consumer has emerged, and what was once old is new again, and what is new has gotten even more rapidly newer,” AEB president and chief executive officer Emily Metz stated. “No one could have predicted the circumstances we, in the food industry — and, more broadly, as human beings — would have encountered in 2020. Yet, the lessons, many of them hard, that have been learned through this period will no doubt be long lasting.”
Eggs are currently in almost 94% of household fridges and counting, which Metz said is an incredibly high penetration rate and, “frankly, a happy problem.”
She added, “How do we keep that penetration where it is and even grow it, and how do we expand opportunities for eggs both in the U.S. and abroad?”
Noting that the egg “is pretty unique in that its demand is on a 50-year rise," Metz said, "We’ve done a pretty good job so far. Eggs are enjoying record popularity with consumers today.”
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, egg sales had already been steadily increasing about 2% annually, on average. Then, at the outset of the pandemic, there was notable stockpiling of certain commodities, one of which was eggs. Metz said sales since then have leveled off, but retail sales are currently about 11% higher, on top of that 2% annual increase.
“We expect this trend to continue as long as conditions persist and people are preparing most or all of their meals at home,” she noted.
Metz said the new AEB blueprint allows the industry to set metrics that identify what can and should be expected from the checkoff organization.
“This plan will, no doubt, be a shift in the previous establishment that you may have come to know, but if these ambitious goals are executed as intended, this plan will no doubt leave a lasting legacy and deliver dividends to our industry and egg producers that have, to date, only been imagined,” she said.
As part of the new strategy, AEB set the following goals for the next five years:
- Ensure that the consumer is core to all AEB initiatives by using data and intelligence to promote eggs and drive demand domestically and abroad.
- Bolster egg’s story by leveraging its innumerable attributes and sharing its relevance in a meaningful and engaging way.
- Give voice to egg farmers’ values of responsibly producing a safe, sustainable, nutrient-rich protein that is part of the solution to global malnutrition.
- Spark innovation by integrating cutting-edge insights and cultivating partnerships.
- Increase awareness, maximize return on investment and secure additional resources for the checkoff.
- Further strengthen AEB by elevating talent, leveraging technology, maximizing efficiencies and striving for organizational excellence.
Metz said the organization believes the future is in eggs, and “this plan is going to help us make sure that the future is in eggs for a long, long time to come.”