Aruna Chandra, Ghizlane Kasmi, Geraldine Michel.
The Egg that does not kill the Hen: An Ethical Egg Venture in France
The Egg that does not kill the Hen is a new brand of premium priced egg sold by Poulehouse, a new venture in Paris, France. Poulehouse was founded in September 2017 by three French entrepreneurs to produce a cruelty-free alternative to the egg consumed by 98% of the French population. Even with the growth of the organic sector in France, the egg industry had retained inhumane industrial practices in order to produce a commoditized, price competitive product. Poulehouse’s differentiated super-premium priced eggs have the consumer paying a far higher price to cover the lifetime care of the hen as well as support the venture’s fair trade practices of compensating the breeder fairly. Consumers, in turn get a product that aligns with their values and provides full transparency in the supply chain of a product so central to their diet. The new venture uses innovative technology and social media approaches to differentiate its brand to appeal to its target consumer who in the view of the founders is not just a consumer, but also a ‘consume-actor’ taking greater agency by questioning brands for accountability in the ethics of production. The case captures an overview of the egg industry in France to set the context for the disruptive innovation in egg production by Poulehouse. The challenges of funding and growing a new venture in France to market a new / differentiated category of eggs using a completely transparent mode of production while balancing the 3P’s of profit, people and planet are discussed.