Last time we wrote, we talked about the major trends that we have observed among our specialist retail chain clients and the thoughts they have inspired in us. Many of you responded (firstname.lastname@example.org) to these thoughts, to the message of hope we would like to convey and to the prospects that we are opening up. We would now like to talk to you more specifically about the measures that we have taken to consolidate or reorient our own actions. We are basing this on the main trends highlighted in our previous post, which are as follows: home-made production, everyday little pleasures, innovation, strong local roots, and the ability to remain close to the customer base.
In all of these areas, the action of François Doucet Confiseur’s products in the specialist retail chain sector is twofold: firstly, they are fully in line with the above trends, which are essential today. Secondly, alongside the other measures you will be implementing, they can directly contribute to driving forward these trends within your organisations. It is through this dual lens that we will now take a closer look at these trends:
At François Doucet Confiseur, we produce 98% of the products we sell. We do not purchase finished products externally; neither do we simply trade products. What we do is to put our unique know-how into the creation of our recipes (more than 100 different ones), into the preparation of our products and into the quality of our coatings (such as those on our chocolate-coated fruit jellies). This is how we have earned a place among the products sold by our specialist retail chain clients which put the accent on their know-how. In the area of energizing fruit jellies, we have developed unique expertise that involves knowing how to combine nutritional supplements with the fruit jelly in an extremely precise manner, and ensure perfect consistency in our products. This is a question of quality, product safety and design cost. As with any production approach, the choice of ingredients is vital. Our approach in this area is three-pronged:
- Impeccable quality: we select our ingredients ourselves and have developed the ability to reliably judge using our senses of sight, touch and smell.
- Local sourcing: what could be said of a Provence-based confectioner that sourced supplies on international markets for reasons of cost price, to the detriment of taste and product origin? 75% of the fruit used to make our fruit jellies comes from Provence (e.g. Orangé de Provence apricots from the Baronnies, quinces from the Drôme, figs from the Var, and Golden Delicious apples and Williams pears from the Hautes-Alpes). The honey used in our confectioneries is a Provençal lavender honey certified by ‘Label Rouge’ (Red Label) and 100% of the almonds and hazelnuts are French.
- Partnerships with producers and vertical integration: long-standing partnerships have been built over the years to secure supplies from the finest lands, while enabling producers and cooperatives to sustainably develop their businesses. A few years ago, we also contributed to the revival of almond production in Provence by investing in nine hectares of almond trees, which will soon cover part of our supplies.
EVERYDAY LITTLE PLEASURES
If we had to single out a main trend, it would be this one. At François Doucet Confiseur, this has led us to expand our range of packaging, to adapt it to specific forms of consumption, and to help our clients stand out and make each moment one to be savoured. We have packaging that is particularly well suited to both impulse buying and planned buying, for immediate consumption or in preparation for a specific occasion (such as our range of energizing products for physical activities), to enjoy at home as a treat or to accompany a coffee, to offer as a gift, etc. Ranging from 3 to 400 g, there are various types of packaging, including practical, decorative, statutory and functional. There is something for all tastes among our 300 products; and if you don’t find what you’re looking for, we’re sure we can make it for you.
There are two fundamental trends at François Doucet: firstly, there is a long tradition of product innovations, which means we are always able to offer something new, to surprise clients, to inspire questions and provide answers… In a nutshell, to enhance a moment. Our "Éclats de fruits" (fruit pieces) offer an alternative to the traditional sugar coated fruit jelly, to allow more of the fruit flavour explode in the mouth. Our ‘basil and tomato’ flavour, for example, makes an original summer appetizer. Then there is our range of sports products, which sacrifice none of the taste of the fruit for their energizing properties. Secondly, there is another innovation underway which is the creation of a Doucet brand reserved for specific distribution channels, including specialist retail chains, to make our products even more distinct and avoid unwanted connections between channels.
In 1969, François and Maggy Doucet took over one of the last remaining almond processing workshops in Oraison, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, France. They built on ancestral recipes while pursuing creativity and excellence in the production of their French confectioneries. Today, we remain a family-owned company, which is run by Jean-Marc Doucet, the son its founders. Still based in Oraison, we produce among the finest confectioneries in Provence and, in 2017, we were awarded the EPV (Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant or Living Heritage Company) label, which recognises French companies with outstanding artisanal expertise. More than 60 people, working in two production workshops, perpetuate the passion for flavours that was passed down by the founders.
ABILITY TO REMAIN CLOSE TO THE CUSTOMER BASE
At François Doucet, we have adopted a direct B2B sales approach, which enables business clients to remain in direct contact with their supplier; we do not operate through intermediaries and have established a beneficial free delivery policy for orders over a certain amount. Our sales team is here to help you. You can contact them by email (email@example.com) or telephone (direct line: +33 4 92 78 76 75). Three or four times a year, in a respectful manner and without unnecessarily cluttering your inbox, you will receive all the essential information. Of course, we will be delighted to visit you to discuss any specific projects you may have (including special packaging, limited-edition series, co-branding, or even production under your brand).
Would you like to find out more? How about a personalised tasting session?