Grocery sector innovation

Innovation in the delicatessen sector

As the premium segment of the dry food sector, delicatessen offers sweet or savoury fare with a strong local identity or exceptional products. 

While the list of foodstuffs itself remains unchanged - jams, canned conserves or condiments, chocolate, specialist teas and coffees, etc. - the delicatessen world still constantly succeeds in innovating and keeping consumers keenly interested in this market. Let’s find out how.

Co-branding and new store concepts

Whether in specialist shops or in supermarket sections, delicatessen is no longer the preserve of an elite class. This sector combines two trends in strong demand among consumers: ‘better eating’ and ‘terroir’. Manufacturers must cater to this enthusiasm without however losing their ‘gourmet’ positioning. The retailers Monoprix and Auchan certainly wasted no time. The former immediately staked its place on the fine food segment by creating its signature ‘Monoprix Gourmet’ back in 1986, whilst the latter opened an ‘Auchan Gourmand’ store in Marseille in June 2018. But today’s top trend is in the emergence of single product top-end shops, which account for 20% of the market.

« Savour Histoires de Gourmets », a concept store that brings together  three emblematic brand names of the delicatessen: the chocolatier  De Neuville, the wine merchant Nicolas and Comtesse du Barry.

« Savour Histoires de Gourmets », a concept store that brings together
three emblematic brand names of the delicatessen: the chocolatier 
De Neuville, the wine merchant Nicolas and Comtesse du Barry.

To play the sophistication trump card, there is nothing better than co-branding, meaning the association of two or several brands. This alliance of several reputations and several forms of know-how can help to deliver new premium products. This is how “Savour Histoires de Gourmets” was born in December 2018: a concept store bringing together three iconic delicatessen brands: the chocolate maker De Neuville, the wine merchant Nicolas and Comtesse du Barry.

In products too, co-branding can help to foster innovation. Proof can be found with the Italian brand Galateo & Friends which launched ’Crystal’, a premium olive oil in a bottle covered in Swarovski crystals. Its compatriot La Fabbrica della Pasta di Gragnano srl chose to team up with the coffee firm Kimbo to offer consumers exceptional pasta made from durum wheat and roasted coffee flour. These two products were furthermore selected by the SIAL Innovation competition in Paris in 2018.

Mixing sensations, or how to reconcile exoticism, local and premium products

Black garlic grown in the North of France

Produced in Quincy in the North, this black garlic clove comes
from a regional variety, the Northern Pink Garlic.

One of the main areas of innovation across all sectors is about creating new sensations, a notion featuring in no fewer than 28.1% of new products launched around the world in 2018, according to the Global Innovation Report by Protéines XTC. But how can you offer new flavours whilst maintaining the notions of terroir and local retailing? Simply by producing locally! This is the road travelled by Potdevin-Caron to make its French-grown black garlic, a condiment of Japanese origin. Its ‘Black Garlic from the North’ walked away with the Gold medal in the 2018 SIAL Innovation Awards. Meanwhile, Dragées Reynaud came to SIAL to present almonds coated Provence honey, rosemary or olive oil-flavoured chocolate: a way of bringing the flavours of the south of France to consumers’ taste buds.

Mixing unprecedented flavours is also a strong vector of innovation in delicatessen, as long as the product positioning focuses on taste and a premium edge. The French brand Azais-Polito, for example, combined codfish pie and summer truffle, while Weiss chocolates made a bold association between chocolate and boletus milk, “based on an idea by Régis Marcon, head chef at the three-star restaurant Régis et Jacques Marcon,” points out SIAL.

The Global Innovation Report also notes the emergence of spicy confectionery and a trend for strong tastes, as evidenced by the April 2018 launch of an organic paprika virgin oil by Biercors. Another combination straight from the USA and marketed by the firm Saradipour (Sarai): dried dates mixed with chili powder, producing a result that is sure to be hot, hot, hot!

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