Ready-to-cook (RTC) is our largest product category and comprises products for self-preparation by the customer or consumer. They may consist of whole birds, cuts of meat, deboned, seasoned or marinated products. We also sell chicken that is grilled in store in some markets. This means that chickens are sold ready for grilling to retail stores that sell them freshly grilled over the counter. We sell both to retail and to foodservice in our domestic markets in the Nordic countries and Ireland, and we also sell for export purposes.
This segment comprises Ready-to-cook processing plants in all five countries, the feed business in Ireland, egg production in Norway, and the hatching business in Sweden.
Products and product development
The biggest selling product in all of our markets is natural chicken fillet. There is a risk of overproducing wing and leg products, as the demand for these products does not keep up with the demand for mainly fillets. Here, we strive to achieve what is known as an ‘anatomical balance’ in the sales mix. This is why we work intensely with the development of products that use all parts of the chicken, for example, by deboning them. Boneless products are more attractive to consumers and can thus also be priced higher. For example, there has been a great increase in demand for thigh fillets. We are also working on processing charcuterie products, such as bacon and sausages, where other types of cuts from chicken can be used. Other innovations that differentiate our products are exciting new combinations of seasonings and flavours as well as seasonal variations.
“Chicken is versatile, works well in many dishes and has a place in every culture.”
– Robert Skaugen, chef at Den Stolte Hane
Sales in some of our markets, such as Sweden and Denmark, had previously largely consisted of frozen products with a low degree of processing, however, in recent years the trend has shifted towards a higher proportion of fresh and more processed products that offer more convenience to the consumer, which is a positive development, as these products command a higher price. Other countries do not have the same tradition of frozen products – chilled products are the most popular items. We also deliver Ready-to-cook products to all markets under private retail labels. Our sales growth in 2022 has been robust, primarily driven by price increases to counteract the higher costs we have noted for input goods and other resources. The earnings trend has not been as strong, due to factors such as a lag in price increases, which will be a focus area going forward.