Press release

Win-Win idea of the Lake of Constance

The reusable egg box of the egg producer Mr. Hönig is successful by retailers and consumers – promoter Edeka

 

With the help of the developed reusable egg box ‘MeiBox’ of the egg supplier Christoph Hönig, the eggs of the chicken can be bought, transported, stored and cooked. The packaging concept offers advantages for suppliers, retailers and consumers.
The name of the product is selected originally. ‘MeiBox’ simultaneously evokes associations to the Web 2.0-modernism, the dialect solidity and the reusable-focused essential core of those egg packaging. The plastic box with the two removable inserts, each holding four eggs, was produced from Christoph Hönig (42), the managing partner of the egg-producing family business Hönig Hof GmbH, situated in Mühlingen in Germany. The trained engineer invested 120,000 Euros in his product idea.

 

Each box can be printed with the logo of the company. The reusable system of plastic should amplify the loyalty of the consumers to the food markets of independent traders.

‘In addition to that, the traders benefit from the continuous advertising which does the MeiBox constantly in the fridge of consumers’ Mr. Hönig is convinced. According to him, the circulating system can reduce in the long term a significant amount of disposable packaging. ‘This avoids a lot of waste and reduces packaging costs which account for up to 10 % of the selling price’.


At the POS, the MeiBox costs 2,99 € which corresponds approximately to the cost price. Additional to the safe transportation and the option of saving energy and water while boiling eggs with the two removable inserts, each holding four eggs – the consumers receive a bonus for an environmentally friendly shopping: For each regionally produced and bought egg of the size XL and L, the consumer receive a  reward at the checkout of about 1 cent.


Mr. Hönig began his idea in October 2009 at Hiebers Edeka markets. The inhabitants of Lörrach have integrated the MeiBox in a trainee project that recently won the Sales Cup of the affiliate newspaper of the food newspaper (‘Lebensmittelzeitung’), the ‘LZ-Direkt’. After the southern colleagues of Hieber (Baur, Rees, Hengge and Sulger) got in, the reusable system now breaks into the north of the republic of Germany. Meanwhile, Christoph Hönig sold MeiBoxes which are available in six colours to other markets than Edeka and already delivered about 75,000 units.

The interviewed retailers praise the MeiBox. ‘In terms of quantity, the loose eggs were ranked far behind. Now they are the second most powerful items, their percentage of the total egg sale have increased from 10 to 20 %’, says Michael Rees. This retailer of Edeka who manages five markets in the Southwest has sold so far 800 MeiBoxes in Karlsruhe-Knielingen and Freiburg-St. Georgen. The retailer is also ‘very satisfied’ with the positive response that the MeiBox has for consumers ‘due to the placement directly next to the loose eggs’.


Rees’ colleague, Volker Winkler, who holds three Aktiv-Märkte in Weiterstadt, Alsbach and Klein-Gerau, is especially delighted about ‘the significant improved customer loyalty’. For him, the business with loose eggs has also improved after the introduction of the reusable packaging.


In addition, Christoph Hönig is present in the 54 branches of the organic chain store Alnatura with his innovation. According to the range manager, Björn Meuser, the inhabitants of Bickenbach first ordered 5,000 MeiBoxes and have already sold 2,000 units since the launch on 26 May. Alnatura sees the main advantage of the MeiBox less in the factors promotion or customer loyalty but rather in the saving of disposable packaging. The MeiBox is an ‘investment in the future’, with which ‘the expensive cardboards’ will be abolished, emphasises Mr. Meuser.

So far, the three German Mirgros stores in Freiburg, Lörrach and Reutlingen have sold ‘several thousand’ MeiBoxes. ‘My expectations were more than met’, said CEO, Eric Fischer, in those days to the newspaper LZ. According to the manager, the reusable concept is ‘quite well for the Swiss market’, even if the sale of loose eggs in the neighbouring country doesn’t have the same signification as in Germany. Christoph Hönig is already exploring his export potential. At the request of the newspaper LZ, the trader confirms the preliminary discussions with the Swiss food retailer Migros Primus as well as with his nation largest rival Coop.

(Source: hdw/lz 27-10)