LDC eyes Groupe Avril’s egg brand to strengthen position in free-range eggs

FRANCE – Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC) is in discussion with French agri-food company, Groupe Avril, to purchase its egg brand, Matines.

The Rotterdam, Netherlands-based company plans to use the acquisition to strengthen its position as a leader in free-range eggs.

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The company also intends to pursue and accelerate the commitments of the Matines brand toward alternative production methods in line with consumer expectations.

LDC said it would look to invest behind the Matines brand in “alternative production methods” areas, such as organic and free-range eggs to achieve the commitments.

The agricultural commodities trading major pledged once the deal is complete, it would maintain all of the supply contracts to ensure the continuity of deliveries to its customers.

This will in turn help the company to maintain outlets for the breeders who are partners of the egg brand.

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LDC’s acquisition is timely as the egg market size is poised to continue to experience growth driven by an increasing health awareness amongst consumers and increased focus on issues such as environmental protection and animal welfare.

Also, the growing demand for organic cosmetic and personal care products has considerably given rise to the growth of the eggs market segment.

According to the market research firm, Statista, the French egg market segment valued at US$1.66billion in 2022 is projected to grow annually by a CAGR of 2.05% in the forecast period of 2022-2027.

The firm also forecasts the global egg market segment to grow annually by a CAGR of 7.74% in the period 2022-2027 from the current valuation of US$110 billion.

The discussion by LDC follows Avril’s announcement made in June 2022 that revealed it had decided on “a project of voluntary cessation” of all of the egg firm’s operations.

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The cessation is after Matines had faced “significant economic difficulties” for “several years”, the parent company of Matines said.

Avril further noted that the restructuring efforts failed to pay off, as did attempts to find a buyer.

When Avril announced the planned closure of the Matines business, it said its animal-nutrition arm Sanders would take over its packaging site and staff in the French town of Naizin.

Additionally, Sanders was planning “for the development of an egg packaging service activity by a new company on behalf of several companies marketing eggs in supermarkets”.

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