Food and Drinks

Producing the best wine is not enough to survive on the global market

Fran Lambert - 08-oct.-2015 11:57:00

“In 2015, the global wine and spirits market is still thriving and France remains one of the best wine producers and exporters in the world”, says Christophe Commeau, head of the wines and spirits department at Business France, interviewed this week by Business France Radio.   France at the heart of global competition France is facing more and more competitors such as Italy and Spain, but also Chile, Argentina, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. Even if “in the future, consumers will drink less but much better, ”  it is a worldwide competition “to survive on the global market; producing the best wine is not enough, ”  asserts Commeau. The best wine at the best price This is why over the past few years, French companies, producers, makers and traders, have started to improve the quality of their products, and now export the best wine at the best price. The three main strengths of France To face this competition, France relies on its many strengths, ranging from its variety to its quality and price. Boasting regions such as Burgundy, Bordeaux, Loire Valley, South of France, Alsace and Champagne, sparkling and sweet wines, France has “a great many wines at a great many prices for such a small country.” Development of the organic wine market French companies have also been developing one new aspect of the wine market. “800 hundred French wine makers are now doing organic wine”, states Commeau. This is a new and necessary trend, as so many countries now want to import this type of wine. New wines for Asia and champagne for the UK A strategy linked with the ability of France to find new opportunities and develop wines for new markets like Asia; China in particular. “We have to prospect and organise wine tastings in Asia, but not only in Asia," says Commeau.  “ The USA remains a big consumer and our closest neighbours are our biggest clients, especially the UK, the main market for France thanks to its demand for champagne. French wine in this market is becoming more and more sophisticated.” The role played by France in the wines and spirit global market has evolved even further. Every year, France organises wine tours at the biggest trade fairs, master classes and training for cellarmen and sommeliers to learn how to correctly pair French wines with local food. According to Commeau, “exporting and promoting wine abroad is good but we also need to train professionals in the sector.” More information on French wine companies can be found here .

A taste of Italy in England: Pasta chain Francesca® opens five new restaurants

Fran Lambert - 03-sept.-2015 15:21:09

Following its success in France, pasta restaurant chain Francesca® looks set to open five new restaurants in England this autumn. Its flagship restaurant at 215 Baker Street, London, opened in 2012. Francesca® will soon be opening a restaurant in Birmingham’s brand new shopping centre, Grand Central.  People on the move will also be able to enjoy authentic Italian cuisine on the food courts of four motorway service stations: Beaconsfield (M40 J2), Cambridge (A14 – M11), Baldock (A1M J10) and Peterborough (A1M J17).  Whether it’s a little corner of Italy in the heart of Birmingham or just off the motorway, members of the public will be able to sample high-quality, fast casual dining at Francesca® (eat-in or take away), with a choice of up to 18 freshly prepared sauces and three varieties of durum wheat pasta, as well as an assortment of salads, antipasti, lasagne, cannelloni, panini, desserts, real Italian coffees and wine.  Founded in 1998 with over 50 restaurants in France and abroad, Francesca® provides healthy and balanced meals that live up to Italian cuisine’s excellent reputation. Francesca®’s company model proudly reflects the traditions upheld by high-quality Italian food and its respect for consumers and suppliers.  Francesca Albanese, co-founder of the Francesca® franchise, makes it her priority to source top-quality ingredients straight from Italy, which she then transforms into 18 deliciously fresh, homemade pasta sauces. All pasta dishes are free of preservatives or artificial flavours, and are based on traditional recipes and cooking techniques that have been passed down from generation to generation in Francesca Albanese’s family. Francesca Albanese is fond of flavours promoted by the cucina contemporanea Italiana. Restaurants only use Pomi d’Oro tomatoes from the Naples region (southern Italy), extra virgin olive oil from the Puglie region (southern Italy) and GMO-free products. All dishes are served with authentic parmesan cheese imported from Parma (northern Italy). Whether eating in or taking away, Francesca®’s menu offers each customer a diverse range of good, authentic Italian cuisine. The menu includes antipasti, salads, mains, desserts and coffee — all at affordable prices. Francesca® restaurants also offer seasonal menus and regularly add new dishes. Restaurants offer a full and varied range of meals throughout the day. The delicatessen area also allows customers to take home the flavours of Francesca®’s cooking.  Restaurant interiors combine chic décor with a friendly ambience, balancing the simplicity of Italian life with the sophistication of Italian culture. The restaurant chain is currently in the process of expanding into the United Kingdom, and is opening restaurants at the following locations: 1.     Beaconsfield services (24 September 2015) 2.     Grand Central Birmingham shopping centre (30 September 2015) 3.     Cambridge services (22 October 2015) 4.     Baldock services (21 November 2015) 5.     Peterborough services (19 December 2015) The Francesca® brand is offering one free meal to any journalist who wishes to know more about its restaurants, the company and its franchise. Journalists wishing to benefit from this special offer and discover the Francesca® concept are invited to contact Business France – The French Trade Commission in London (details below).  About Francesca In 1997, Francesca Arbogast-Albanese and Bertrand Arbogast decided to share their love of Italian cuisine by founding Francesca®, a traditional Italian restaurant, in Strasbourg (eastern France). In 2004, the company chose to offer takeaway dishes to its customers, which is where the fast casual restaurant idea originated. At the beginning of 2015, there were 50 restaurants across France, Switzerland, Canada and UK. From September 2015, people will not only be able to enjoy authentic Italian cuisine at Francesca®’s flagship restaurant in Baker Street, London, but also in Beaconsfield, Baldock, Cambridge and Peterborough. Birmingham Grand Central will be their first UK restaurant located in a shopping centre. For further information, please visit:    For further information regarding this press release, please contact: Fran Lambert, Communications Adviser Business France - The French Trade Commission in the UK Tel: +44 (0)20 7024 3613 Email:

Spring Issue 2015

Lysanne - 22-avr.-2015 19:00:19

Spring Tasting 7th May 2015 from 10am to 5pm Haymarket House SW1Y 4SP     A unique chance to taste these wines in our offices. The producers will not be present but would like your feedback, they are all hoping for UK representation.   Hope to see you there.      

SIVAL grows with expanded plant-sector event in Jan 2015

Marine Juillard - 24-nov.-2014 11:26:52

SIVAL, a leading European trade show for the crop-production sector, will be held from 13 to 15 January 2015 at the Angers Exhibition Centre, in Angers (Western France). As the foundation for Plants Week, this year’s show will once again be the key event in plant excellence for all sector professionals, welcoming more than 600 exhibitors and hosting a range of events. Plants Week consists of a week of events and conferences devoted to the plant sector, including Rencontres du Végétal (Plant Sector Meetings), the SIVAL trade show, the Vegepolys Symposium, and the new Vegepolys International Business Event (or VIBE). SIVAL will host several conferences, meetings and symposiums, whilst the SIVAL Forum will provide a platform for industry experts to give presentations on a variety of topics and address issues such as plant protection, evolving practices, and environmental, social and economic challenges. Vegepolys is a world-class cluster of excellence that brings together plant-sector professionals specialising in aromatic and perfumed plants, cider production, market gardening, medicinal plants, mushrooms, seeds, tobacco, tree farming, and winegrowing within the Pays de la Loire region. VIBE, the new event organised by Vegepolys, will take place on 12 and 13 January 2015, as part of the trade fair. This event is designed to bring together managers of innovative projects and international buyers, fostering dialogue during tours of the area and meetings with exhibitors and members of the Vegepolys cluster. The decision to host this event supports SIVAL’s strategy to establish itself internationally, both as Europe’s primary trade show for all plant production and as a leader in the fruit-and-vegetable sector. The SIVAL d’Or Contest, a competition to reward the most innovative projects in the field of plant-production techniques, is changing its name to the SIVAL Innovation Contest. From now on, this competition will incorporate a new Zoom Innovation (or Focus on Innovation) section, which will introduce candidates that have been preselected for the SIVAL Innovation Contest, as well as the winners of the Innovafood Contest, start-up companies in the plant sector, school and group projects, and more. Finally, the SIVAL Job Dating event will help to bring together applicants for jobs in the plant sector with the companies looking to fill the numerous vacancies that exist. Apart from the Vegepolys Symposium (already mentioned), meetings and conferences organised at the SIVAL trade show, next year, will include wine-tourism meetings organised by Interloire, the DEPHY-Ecophyto conference, the Euroviti symposium organised by the IFV, a Légumes de France conference, a conference on Winegrowing Engineering organised by ATV49meetings, and an Export/Market conference organised by the Anjou Winegrowing Federation and the region’s International Chamber of Commerce & Industry. A detailed programme, listing further events, will soon be available on the SIVAL website. About ANGERS EXPO CONGRES The City Authority of Angers is the main shareholder of ANGERS EXPO CONGRES, a locally based public-private partnership that has the status of a company (in French, Société Anonyme d’Economie Mixte Locale, or SAEML). It is chaired by Mr Jean Claude Bachelot, Deputy Mayor of Angers.   The role of ANGERS EXPO CONGRES is to manage and operate the Congress Centre and the Exhibition Centre in the city of Angers. These two sites are able to accommodate up to 600,000 visitors. The company organises over 300 events per year, including B2B and B2C trade shows, business meetings and conferences, in order to facilitate the region’s economic expansion. ANGERS EXPO CONGRES generates between €35 million and €40 million in economic benefits for the region. SIVAL, a leading European trade show for the crop-production sector, will be held from 13 to 15 January 2015 at the Angers Exhibition Centre, in the city of Angers (Western France). Further information about this year’s programme of events and conferences is available on the SIVAL Facebook and Twitter pages. For more information about the SIVAL trade fair, please go to: For more information about ANGERS EXPO CONGRES, please go to:  For further information, please contact :   Ms Kate RILEY - Press Officer UBIFRANCE Press Office in London SW1Y 4SP – UK - Tel: +44 (0) 207 024 3640 View other press releases at :

France adds zest to its gourmet exports with So French So Good

Joanna Routaboul - 11-juil.-2014 14:29:20

What else does one expect from France, where gastronomic standards are so high? Yet, cultivating gourmets’ taste buds the world over also pays off in economic terms: French gourmet products and fine foods, as a sector, are worth €7 billion, encompassing 250 product categories and amounting to 16% of the French food industry’s total exports. In this field, French exporters total 1,200 companies, 90% of which are SMEs. What may be mainstream in France, in terms of fine foods and culinary excellence, the rest of the world often perceives as symbolizing culinary art that can only be Made in France. Christophe Monnier, in charge of the Fine Foods Department at French export-support agency UBIFRANCE, describes a high-end market that is both diverse and dynamic. Baked goods, biscuits and chocolate account for 50% of French exports of gourmet products. Within this segment of the market, two characteristically French trends stand out. First, there is an absolute respect for authentic flavours and for regional and local traditions, as neatly summed up by the French concept of terroir. Each gourmet product has its own story to tell, unlike any other, which is also its unique selling point. Secondly, with health concerns and awareness of dietary issues coming to the fore, carefully prepared, organic and eco-friendly branded products coming from France have gained worldwide recognition and the trust of consumers, and rightly so. Major players in the fine-foods sector such as Valona (high-quality chocolates), Rougie (foie gras), Bridor (French bakery products) and Boiron Frères (fruit and vegetable coulis), among many others, are being increasingly proactive when providing international clients with their exclusive products and unrivalled expertise. And of course, reliable logistics is the name of the game. Each year, sectoral experts at UBIFRANCE such as Christophe Monnier help up to 830 prospecting companies leverage their efforts through Saveurs de France, a French professional and trade association in the field of gastronomic products, and other, similar promotional programmes such as the So French So Good campaign. All these initiatives give French exporters the opportunity to demonstrate their expertise and know-how in new export markets, from Latin America to Asia. Christophe Monnier and his colleagues also help set up highly selective and fruitful meetings with purchasing agents, distributors and importers who are interested in the French products on offer. French suppliers of fine foods do not forget the importance of their domestic market and that of neighbouring French-speaking countries. In 2013, however, sales growth was muted in countries such as Switzerland (up by 0.4% on the year before) and Belgium (up 4.2%), which are mature markets for French goods. Many French-based companies, encouraged by the presence of an important French community in Britain, crossed the Channel to do business in the UK, where exports of French fine-food products grew markedly in 2013, as compared to the year before (up 8.9%). Central and Eastern Europe offered even bigger opportunities for expansion, with sales rising strongly in Russia (13.5%) and in Austria (17.1%). In fact, the further exporters went, the bigger the rewards could be: in the Far East, exports of fine-food products from France rose markedly, from Hong Kong (up 12.8%) to Singapore (up 14.3%). In mainland China, the figures were even more impressive, with sales up by 33.3%. In the Middle East, companies marketing gourmet food products to Dubai (UAE) and Saudi Arabia were rewarded with a growth rate exceeding 20%. Christophe Monnier stresses the importance of three trade events for the promotion of French excellence in fine foods. SIAL and EUROPAIN, which are known to be leading trade shows where deals get done — more particularly in the field of consumer products — are two. The ultimate culinary event, however, has to be the Cuisine Summit at the SIRHA  trade fair, in Lyons, explains Christophe Monnier. All the French know-how in the industry is mustered in order to create an exceptional experience across 40,000 square metres of floor space. This unique trade event culminates in the awarding of the prestigious prize known as the Bocuse d’Or: it follows a televised cooking competition among the world’s most renowned chefs, who represent their respective countries. Only creative excellence, fabulous ingredients and culinary brio stand a chance of winning, points out Christophe Monnier of UBIFRANCE. For further information about French companies in the fine-food sector, please go to: Bakery, Grocery, Baked Goods, Miscellaneous

Boiron Frères unveils 6 new flavours in vegetable purées/ semi-candied fruit

Marine Juillard - 25-juin-2014 18:52:35

Boiron Frères of France, a specialist in fruit-and-vegetable processing for the catering trade, is enhancing its range with six new flavours, which come in a purée (butternut squash, green asparagus, beetroot and yuzu) or in a semi-candied mix (lemon and orange). The company already sells an impressive 70-flavour range under the Les Vergers Boiron brand, making it an international leader in frozen fruit and vegetable purées.   Boiron Frères of France is a specialist in fruit processing that has recently diversified into vegetable processing too. The company, thanks to extensive research and innovation, is now diversifying its range of flavours and products destined for the catering trade and gastronomy professionals. For its vegetable line, under the Les Vergers Boiron brand, Boiron Frères now offers three ‘homemade-grade’ novelty purées designed for chefs and caterers: butternut squash, green asparagus, and beetroot. All three are 100% natural and free from preservatives, artificial colouring and thickening agents. The vegetables are processed using a new, cutting-edge tool that delivers a taste and texture that are equivalent to the best of homemade purées. Packaged in 1kg trays for optimal food safety and immediately frozen, the purées are easy to use. The formula chosen by Boiron Frères guarantees that there is no waste for the catering professional, while costs are kept under control. This unique know-how, which is the company’s hallmark, makes a lot of sense when processing vegetables such as those, which usually require a lengthy and potentially tedious preparation phase. Regarding its citrus line, Boiron Frères found its inspiration in the Far East, in countries such as Japan, China and Korea, where yuzu is traditionally grown. A small, tangy citrus fruit from East Asia, yuzu tastes a little like grapefruit, with touches of lime and tangerine: thanks to Boiron Frères, it is now available as a purée. Yuzu delivers a powerful and rare flavour, much sought-after by pastry chefs, ice-cream makers, chocolate makers and confectioners. The purée is packaged in 1kg trays featuring an inner grading scale (250g or 100g) for precise measuring. Yuzu purée under the Les Vergers Boiron label is a 100% natural product, with a flavour closer to the actual fresh fruit than that of existing products on the market.   Yuzu can be used in a wide range of sweet or savoury recipes — portioned desserts, fruitcakes, financier cakes, muffins, small tarts, wafers, soufflés, ice-creams, sorbets, granitas (a type of Italian semi-frozen dessert also known as granita siciliana), cream cakes, crèmes brûlées, mousses, ganache fillings, fruit pastes and jams, among others. Boiron Frères has filed a patent for a new and exclusive technological process in semi-candying, which it uses to supply pastry chefs, ice-cream makers, chocolate makers and confectioners with semi-candied lemon and orange in 500g pots. While they are less sweet and smoother than ordinary candied fruit, these semi-candied mixes have preserved all the aroma, colour, texture and vitamin content found in fresh produce. The product’s outstanding quality and its ease of use help catering professionals save on production time. Additionally, Boiron Frères’ semi-candied mixes will retain their consistency and their freshness under high temperatures, without producing any exudate. When frozen, their texture becomes soft and tasty, and may be easily handled with a spoon. This new manufacturing process promises to revolutionise the use of candied fruit in pastries, brioches, sorbets, chocolate and more, whether the candied fruit is mixed in, or used as adornment, explains the company.                    About Boiron Frères Boiron Frères is established in 70 countries via a network of partner distributors, managed and supported by a dynamic sales team. Close to 80% of sales are generated by exports. The company employs 95 staff and is headquartered in Châteauneuf-sur-Isère, in the Drôme département of South-Eastern France. Boiron Frères is a world leader in frozen fruit and vegetable purées intended for the catering trade. On average, the company processes 12,000 tonnes of fruit and vegetables per year. It produces over 130 purées, concentrates, coulis, semi-candied fruit products, frozen whole-fruit products, and cut-fruit products. Boiron Frères is attending the Summer Fancy Food Show 2014 in New York (USA) from 29 June to 1 July 2014; Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans (USA) from 16 to 20 July 2014; ABASTUR 2014 in Mexico City (Mexico) from 1 to 4 September 2014; the Restaurant Show 2014 in London (UK) from 6 to 8 October 2014; the Fórum Gastronómic in Barcelona (Spain) from 20 to 23 October 2014; the San Antonio Cocktail Conference in San Antonio (USA) from 16 to 19 January 2015; and, finally, Sirha 2015 in Lyons (France) from 24 to 28 January 2015. For further information (including recipes and tips on food preparation), please go to:   For further information, please contact : Quote ref. : FTPB3938 Ms Kate RILEY - Press Officer UBIFRANCE Press Office in London Tel: +44 (0) 207 024 3640 View other press releases at :  

French know-how in agro-tech among the very best in the world

Aurore Bernard - 16-mai-2014 10:53:52

With the mechanization of farming and other advances in technology, France has demonstrated its know-how in developing high-performance agro-technology solutions worldwide.   France is the second largest importer and the fifth biggest exporter, in international markets, when it comes to farming-industry technologies, which ranks the country as one of the major players in the sector, with 9% market share worldwide.   “French companies are recognized and quite present internationally,” explains Tatiana Miron, Export Advisor for the Agriculture & Food sector at UBIFRANCE in Paris.   France has 230 companies that export farming equipment. Most of them are SMEs (60 % of the total). Among them are companies such as Grégoire Besson, Kuhn, Exel Industries and Manitou.   “Overall, 70 % of French production in farming equipment is exported,” points out Tatiana Miron.   When the exporting company is French-based, experience shows that there is a lot of goodwill among locally based farmers and other businesses. For example, in South Africa, exports of French-made farming machinery increased by 6 % between 2012 and 2013. Local farmers and business people started noticing the Kuhn, Manitou, Pellenc or Berthoud logos hard at work in the countryside, up and down the country. “These companies found the right distributors and they are focused on specific niches, ones whose needs they really understand,” explains Tatiana Miron.   In a completely different business segment — that of equipment designed and manufactured for the food industry — “France is still the reference throughout the world,” says Tatiana Miron. “When the exporting company is French, doors open more easily.”    With an international market share of 5.40 %, France is ranked fifth in this industry segment, behind Germany and Italy, two leaders in the market for food-industry equipment.   Innovative, flexible and well-adapted to their export markets, French-based businesses are able to meet local demand effectively. “The French offer is well-positioned for producing machines and implements for industrial preparation of food and drinks,” says Tatiana Miron.   France is also strong in baking/pastry equipment, in biscuit making, but also for specialized implements designed for meat. According to Tatiana Miron, “All of these specialties are growing at an exponential rate. France is displaying all its ability to innovate. Flexible and well-adapted to each market, French companies have become highly specialized.”   This certainly is the strategy that the major French players (and brands) in the sector — such as Bongard, Serac and Cermex — have adopted. They combine an in-depth knowledge of various export markets with a high level of responsiveness in order to bid successfully for contracts, responding quickly to calls for tender. This competitive edge is what has allowed these specialist players to reinforce their presence in several market niches, and to continue expanding internationally.   For further information about French companies in the agri-f oods sector, please go to:   Livestock, Meat, Processed meat products   Fishery and Aquaculture products and processed   Agricultural equipment and Food processing, Packaging

The Food and Drinks Department (Pôle Agrotech) facilitates trade between France and the UK by enabling French food and drink companies to develop their export strategy in relation to the British market, and British companies to identify French business partners or source specific French products. In an effort to capitalise on international trade opportunities, the Department provides clients with key information on the British market, tailored consultancy advice, and assistance in canvassing British distributors and potential business partners. The Department regularly organises themed B2B events, which represent unique networking opportunities and an ideal platform for French companies to exhibit their products to interested buyers. Besides this, a range of individual partnering services is also available. The activity of the Department is divided into three sub-groups to cover the food, drink and farming machinery sectors. Food and Drinks Department Olivi


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