At the Leclerc supermarket of Granville in northwestern France, the priority is to offer the clientele fruit and vegetables that are local and grown in France.
“This is clearly our choice. We are lucky to have many producers in the region who can supply us with many references of fruit and vegetables. At the moment, we are working with five producers (winter and summer products, strawberries, as well as some local organic productions) within a radius of 40km around the store. This situation is very interesting for several reasons. With products delivered the day following the harvest, we guarantee optimal freshness to our clients. And by having a direct contact with the producer, we negotiate prices together, without intermediaries, which guarantees a better profitability for the producer. If we choose to offer local products, we must go all the way,” explains Cédric Cauvin, head of the fruit and vegetable department at the Leclerc supermarket of Granville.
“The customer can choose between entry-level and premium quality”
Offering local products at a fair price is the priority, but the store also proposes a more affordable alternative, with a range of first-price products. “Some customers are looking at prices primarily, so we do offer entry-level products that are not particularly promoted in the store. But if the customer is looking for premium quality or local produce, we also have a very good offer. And these products are the ones we want to promote in the store, in order to support the French fruit and vegetable sector, as we all should.”
“We do not find it very sensible to sell strawberries in January”
For references like the strawberry, Cédric Cauvin and his team have made strong commitments in favor of the French origin and seasonality. “About ten days ago, I was offered strawberries from Spain. In January, we do not find it very sensible to sell strawberries. Unless the company’s catalog requires us to do so during a given period, we will not sell any Spanish or Moroccan strawberries. We will wait for the beginning of the French season to consume strawberries.”
“Our commitment to local produce is good for the product and the store”
This commitment extends to peaches and nectarines. “In the same way, we wanted to promote the French production of peaches and nectarines. We could start selling some from Spain or Morocco in April but we prefer to wait for the French campaign to start. We have been working for several years now with a producer in the south of France. It is a choice. We will certainly have to explain to some of our clients why other stores sell peaches and nectarines earlier than we do, but this commitment is good for the product and the store.”
For the wild mushrooms, the approach is the same as we sell only the French origin. “We will not offer any golden chanterelles or boletus mushrooms from Eastern Europe. For this type of product, we have either French mushrooms or nothing.”
“We want to keep a small opening to the international market”
Besides this local offer, the store also has original products for its customers to discover. Red lemons, for example, are currently sold in the store. “Although we don’t usually sell products from the other side of the world, we want to keep a small opening to the international market in order to offer our customers some original products. This is how we have recently introduced the red lemon from Spain. This original citrus fruit with red skin attracted our curiosity so we put it on our shelves with a short description to present the product. The flesh of this variety is slightly more orange and filamentous than a classic lemon. Very rich in vitamin C, its bitterness is slightly more pronounced than that of the yellow lemons. Proposing original products positions us as specialists and makes our offer a little more fun.”
“Among the French products, we would also like to mention the banana from the West Indies, as well as products from Reunion island that are dear to us, such as pineapples or passion fruit.”
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