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Jean Philippe, Méchinaud

“More and more operators are interested in aromatic herbs”

Despite the lack of statistical and panel data for the aromatic herbs segment, Jean Philippe, sales director of Méchinaud, shares his analysis of the situation on the market of aromatic herbs.

A growing market overall
"In recent years, the herb market has been attracting more and more operators, including producers, packers or wholesalers, from all over the world (Morocco, Kenya, Israel, the Netherlands…). It is a market that continues to develop in line with the growing trend for plant-based meals. Meat consumption has dropped, so we need to bring differentiation and variety to our plates." This growth can be observed both in households and in the catering sector (the company's main market).

A range of 25 species
Méchinaud's history dates back to 1989, when Robert Méchinaud, a producer of the Nantes region, began producing aromatic herbs. While the initial range was rather modest, the company now markets no fewer than 25 species of aromatic herbs throughout the year, from the traditional to the more exotic: Thai basil, purple basil, lemon verbena, sweet verbena, Vietnamese coriander, marjoram, oregano... "Exotic herbs represent a micro-market but they are also developing in the catering segment."

And while it may be tempting to turn to imports (to reduce supply risks linked to climatic hazards, or to benefit from more advantageous regulations), Méchinaud's aim is to "promote French production and to be as integrated as possible in the local French ecosystem." Between May and October, almost 90% of the raw materials sold by the company come from France. "By virtue of our DNA, we are also very close to the upstream sector, and we strive to support our producers and defend their remuneration on this highly competitive market."

A campaign challenged by the weather
This consumption of aromatic herbs usually increases in the summer months, and the current weather conditions have not really been conducive to consumption. "It is very complicated at the moment, both in terms of production and marketing," explains Jean Philippe. "Despite the usual separation between the basins to the north and the south of the Loire river, spring and early summer have not been favorable overall."

For more information:
Phone: +33 (0)2 40 48 26 83
Fax: +33 (0)2 40 48 97 13
[email protected]