Charlie Lanktree, CEO of Eggland’s Best on How to Reach Your Consumers and Build Your Business
Charlie Lanktree, CEO of Eggland’s Best shares his remarkable story of entering the company when eggs were in decline, and how he was able to re-invent the ultimate commodity into a successful product. Historically, the average American consumed 365 eggs a year, but about 17 years ago, saw a decline to an average 234 eggs a year per person. This rapid decline attributed to negative messaging surrounding eggs containing high amounts of cholesterol, and the many promotions encouraging people to eat less eggs in order to achieve a healthier lifestyle. Lanktree’s challenge was to turn this trend around and make eggs become part of people’s daily meals once again. Instead of forcing his product on consumers, he explains one must “start with the consumer” to transform your product and spark innovation. Lanktree saw people wanted a more nutritional egg, that offered greater accessibility.
Lanktree and his team looked at what they could do to transform the quality of their product, and give consumers the freshest eggs possible that reigned superior in taste and nutrition. After much research and development, Eggland’s Best began to feed their hens an all-natural, vegetarian diet; Lanktree even claims they have a more nutritious meal plan than the average American. This change in the chickens’ diet allows for the superior egg to have 25% less saturated fat, 10 times more vitamin E, more omega-3 fatty acids, and double the amount of vitamin D compared to their competitors’ products. Lanktree explains that innovation is not enough, but often building your business is about educating your customer. He explains that although they had a fantastic product, Americans were unaware of its benefits and how it differentiated itself in the market. Eggland’s Best spent the next few years on advertising strategies and putting the product in front of their consumer. Today, Eggland’s Best has seen more than a 15 percent in company growth for the past 16 years and has maintained its reputation of being awarded America’s Best Tasting Egg ten years in a row.
Lanktree’s success can be attributed to the importance of allowing consumers to drive innovation, and continuing to educate your customer on your product or service’s benefits. He says by providing a superior commodity with high value, “you (will) have a product the customer wants, and the consumer will purchase”. Access the full video of Charlie Lanktree explaining his business success on demand now.