Differentiation in a commodities market: Ganong Bio takes eggs to the next level in South Korea

In Brief

  • Speaking at dsm-firmenich’s Global Poultry Days, Tim Yoo, Director of Marketing and Sales at Ganong Bio shares the brand’s ambitions
  • Ganong Bio produces a superior product, delivering better taste and nutrition thanks to collaboration with dsm-firmenich , delivering a bespoke diet, additives, and technical expertise
  • While B2B sales still make up the majority of sales, business growth is focused on direct-to-consumer channels, including online as well as offline retail

Moving from brand supply chain only, to include direct to customer

With a flock of 1.2 million layers, Ganong Bio is a big player in the South Korean egg sector. Currently in the final stage of bringing cage-free production online, Ganong Bio has seen a 200% increase in branded egg sales. Looking forward, Ganong Bio’s goal is to be the number one cage-free egg brand in South Korea in 2028, with a range of egg products and a 500% increase in Ganong Bio branded egg sales. Clearly, this is an ambitious brand with a team that is hungry for success. Tim Yoo, marketing and sales director, has a clear vision and values the strength of the brand to differentiate to customers in a busy category.

Until 2014, Ganong Bio operated as a farm supplying into the value chain, namely national brands, and food service companies. Under Tim Yoo’s guidance, Ganong Bio has transitioned to a standalone egg brand direct to customer, as well as continuing to supply into the wider food supply chain.

Ensuring that the brand was ready for this transition was important to Mr Yoo, understanding that the competitive customer space required a distinctive and well thought out brand that accurately represented the quality of the product, and the price premium commanded by the brand positioning.

Proud of the quality Ganong Bio eggs represent, every Ganong branded egg with ‘1+’ Quality Grade (Korean grading system) is stamped ‘GB’, further turning a commodity product into a valued brand.

Core belief: eggs are only as good as the feed going into the chicken

Ganong Bio engaged dsm-firmenichto ensure the product quality was as good as the evolving brand – which was promising high quality and exceptional taste at a premium price point.

A core belief at Ganong Bio is that eggs are only as good as the feed eaten by the layers themselves. Working in close collaboration withdsm-firmenich ’s technical team, the farm business moved from feeding premixes to a tailormade, bespoke, specialist formula to enable the flock to lay the best quality eggs.

South Korea has a complex speciality egg market (such as layers fed with traditional herbs, soybean paste and garlic among many more) and the first collaborative project was to create Korea’s only vegetarian sourced Omega-3 egg with a guaranteed DHA and Omega-3 content significantly higher than competitors.

Nutritionally, the Ganong Bio Omega-3 egg has a combined DHA and EPA value of 117.9mg per 100g as well as superior levels of Vitamins A, B2, E and pantothenate in comparison to competitors. The consistent and high levels of nutrition in the eggs has fulfilled stringent local regulations to specify nutritional content – the first egg brand to achieve this.

Knowing customers taste their food with all five senses, Ganong Bio took into account taste, sight, smell, hearing and touch while developing the Omega-3 egg. Many of these senses required further expertise from dsm-firmenich, such as the strength of shell, shell texture, consistent intense yolk color and no fishy smell, as well as an ultimately tasty yolk.

Increasing sales through a delivery channel you might not expect!

Sales direct to customers now makes up 20% of sales, directly cannibalised from the B2B sales as the flock size has stayed the same at 1.2 million head.

Covid significantly changed buyer behaviour in South Korea. Benefitting from an excellent delivery network and high-density populations, online sales of grocery items boomed – including eggs. Eggs and online sales may seem an unlikely duo, and it is true that more breakage is experienced in online sales as well as a higher level of communication requests such as refunds and replacements. That said, Ganong Bio only experiences less than 0.3% breakage through this sales channel. Omega-3 eggs are winning with customers and achieving a 30% which encompasses Ganong branded (national brand) eggs across various channels, positioned at a price point between regular caged eggs and Conglomerate branded eggs.

Approximately 50% of B2C sales are via Coupang, the largest online retailer in Korea, where Ganong Bio is the number one egg brand by sales. Market Kurly, a premium online grocer, also shows Ganong Bio as number one by sales in both private brand supplier and national brand categories. Jumping offline to E-Mart, South Korea’s number one hypermarket for over 20 years, Ganong Bio remains in prime place as the number one farm-direct national brand egg, as well as seeing the first offline launch of GB’s speciality egg products supported by point of sale advertising.

What’s next?

You might ask “where next?” for Ganong Bio, as this ambitious brand achieves milestone after milestone. Tim Yoo wants to produce more, and better eggs, with more speciality products for customers to enjoy. Pride in the brand is fuelling motivation for the company and farm to be better, to pay attention to small details that become big benefits, rather than simply producing to a standard in a supply chain.

Published on

24 May 2024

Tags

  • Poultry
  • Layer

About the Author

Timothy Sukhyun Yoo - Director of Marketing & Sales at Ganong Bio

Timothy Sukhyun Yoo is a Director of Marketing & Sales at Ganong Bio-based in Seoul, Korea. Tim joined Ganong in 2016 as a Farm & Maintenance Associate, facilitating the initial operation and maintenance in areas such as the Manure Recycling Center, GP Center, Liquid Egg Facility, and Layer Farm. Since 2019, he has been serving as Director of Marketing & Sales with the singular goal of solidifying Ganong as the premier egg brand in Korea.

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