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Mickaël Falini, E. Leclerc:
France: "Consumers prize famous import products"
Mickaël Falini is responsible for the fruits and vegetables department at the French supermarket E. Leclerc Ploërmel in Brittany. Mickaël: "I attribute great importance to the origin of my products. I mostly prefer the local products, followed by the French. If I had to prioritise my choice, it would be: Britain, France, the rest of Europe, and lastly the import from outside of the EU. Customers prefer to buy local and French as well. But Spanish oranges, Israeli Orri tangerines, Spanish and Moroccan clementines and Costa Rican pineapples are famous and prized by our customers."
"Currently, we import all of our citrus fruits from Spain and some strawberries as well, to have a cheaper alternative for the French ones. We also import exotic products from multiple sources."
For several years, sales of ready-to-use fruits and vegetables have risen sharply. "We sell more and more portioned products (trays, small sachets), and ripe products that are ready to eat as well, such as avocados and pears. Customers go for the healthy products more and more.” Nevertheless, the French consumption of fruits and vegetables remains insufficient, according to Mickaël. "The rise of television shows related to cooking and healthy eating patterns still gives us a glimpse of improvement and awareness."
Seasonal products are mostly French
"In our store, we sell a lot of table fruits. Our customers are very fond of apples, pears and oranges, because these products are available throughout the year. Despite this, customers are also attracted to seasonal fruits such as peaches, nectarines, strawberries and clementines. As for vegetables, we sell a lot of tomatoes, especially in spring and summer, as well as many cabbages and carrots in winter and autumn. Customers are very weather oriented, and consumption can vary widely depending on the weather."
“Our Fruits and Vegetables department is distinguished by varied animations and striking dramatisations of seasonal products. The team offers relevant advice adapted to our clientele. Our store will expand by nearly 1000m2 by the end of the year, and the department will take advantage of this expansion to put innovative concepts in place to meet a real demand of the customers like, for example, a fresh orange juice machine.”
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