Egg advances: Mondelez on why Vietnam provided great opportunity for cage-free egg adoption

By Pearly Neo

- Last updated on GMT

Mondelez has highlighted a need for product relevance and potential high purchase volumes as key factors for cage-free eggs adoption in a market. ©Getty Images
Mondelez has highlighted a need for product relevance and potential high purchase volumes as key factors for cage-free eggs adoption in a market. ©Getty Images

Related tags Mondelez Vietnam Eggs Cage-free eggs

Mondelez has highlighted several of the key factors that needed to be in place for its adoption of cage-free eggs in its leading cake brand in Vietnam.

Cage-free eggs have been a major topic of discussion when it comes to supply chain transformation and sustainability in Asia, particularly in recent discussions between Malaysia​ and China​.

Many major retailers and brands from AEON to Nestle have made commitments to switch to 100% cage-free egg purchasing over the next few years, but there remain various hurdles in place when it comes to actual implementation.

And according to global snacking leader Mondelez, there are actually various touchpoints and drivers that must be considered before making the switch.

Mondelez made history in Vietnam with its Solite Nature Fresh cake brand which is marketed as using 100% cage-free eggs – but this is so far its only Asia venture.

“The first thing to consider is the relevance of the product – for us, Vietnam is the only market where we actually need to use fresh eggs as it is the only market where we make the Solite cake brand,”​ Mondelez International VP R&D AMEA Marco Michielsen told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

“This is our only recipe where the product actually needs fresh eggs as an ingredient, meaning our only pipeline for this is in Vietnam, so it really made sense to invest accordingly.

“The other thing to consider is the importance of eggs in general in the market, and the various consumption occasions that are associated with it – In Vietnam, there is a very strong demand for cakes and those made with good quality eggs in particular tend to be very popular so we know there is strong local purchasing potential.

“In addition, eggs are important more or less throughout the day but especially during the breakfast and midday occasions, so the consumption of these is very ingrained in consumers and cakes like these are accepted as items for these occasions, that’s why we saw this very big opportunity here.”

Mondelez works with local cage-free eggs producer Vinh Thanh Dat in Vietnam, one of the first Certified Humane producers in the country, as its supplier to source eggs for the Solite Nature Fresh line.

Sustainability as a driver – but not in Asia

Of course, sustainability demands also play a big part in pushing cage-free eggs plans through – Asian consumers in general place less emphasis on this hence it is not a major driving force, but in the US and Europe where sustainability is one of the biggest purchase influencing factors, changes are already in place in Mondelez’s supply chains there.

For instance, the firm’s data has shown its egg supply for the United States and Canada was completely cage-free by the end of 2020.

“We strive for all of our global egg supply to be cage-free by 2025 with the exception of Russia and Ukraine due to the current situation,”​ the company said via a formal statement.

“In 2021, we also were among a number of food companies that issued a letter to the EU Commission and Members of the EU Parliament calling for a phase out of the use of cages in animal farming, and requesting a revision of animal welfare legislation [to this effect].

“We are encouraged by reports that major egg buyers have started the transition to cage-free [and] hope this will lead to a general transformation in the market, so that cage-free eggs become the mainstream option.”

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