Chicorée Leroux rewarded for its innovation
The drink Chicorée Leroux was awarded for its innovation in 2013 by OSEO the french public investment financing Bank.
It is a venerable institution of 155 years, the company Chicorée Leroux, which dusts, thanks to the price of industrial innovation in the North / Pas-de-Calais, a region of France, a bit outdated image linked to its flagship product, chicory .
Do not rely on rusty brick buildings where registration Leroux watermark reflects the age of the plant. In a newer wing, in a newly renovated room, sits the pilot machine which won a prize Leroux crowning more than 10 years of research.
Red packet decorated with a Breton and the brand name has been stored a long time ago to make way for 80 references chicory marketed: new packaging for grain, best known product, pods soluble product, flour Industrial chicory proposed to improve the softness of their breads.
16 500 tonnes of chicory per year.
“Some of our products are associated with either relatively difficult periods of history or to older people. These are sections that must be integrated, but we must try to understand the needs of tomorrow’s consumers and users says Olivier Hermand, CEO of Chicorée Leroux.
With his new machine acquired in 2011, a dryer roaster which saves a lot of data, Leroux can identify qualities chicory allowing “have an impact on the final product” bitterness, cultural practice, variety of chicory, says Gregory Volpoet, R & D Engineer One project focuses on ownership rewarded antioxidants. With a time of shortened process, the machine can quickly process 25 kilos of product on which tests are performed.
In normal times, 80,000 tonnes of roots are harvested between September and December by a network of 250 farmers, mainly in the Nord / Pas-de-Calais (and some fields in Picardy, another french region). Dried, they become chips, reduced to a weight of 23,000 tons, which will be roasted and processed in different forms: grains, soluble, liquid, flour … In the end, 16,500 tons are exiting the site Orchies (North): 96% chicory in France.
Innovation: focus of the company since 1858
Research and development, which is dedicated “to the minimum 1.5% of sales annually,” can “dust the historical side,” said Olivier Hermand. Although, note the leader, innovation has “always” been the focus of the company: in 1863, five years after its inception, the company filed the first patent for a packer mechanical Leroux who treated 200 packages per hour.
Main goal: “identify growth opportunities,” by understanding “the fit between the product and the potential consumer. Objective is not to sell a product but to provide a product that is consumed and used” says Olivier Hermand: Leroux seeks to “change your habits,” in other words to encourage the journalist who does not drink coffee to turn to its product.
International competition with Poland & India
Innovation is also necessary to fight against competition. While in France, Leroux has a virtual monopoly (96% of the market for pure chicory), the company is wary of its competitors, especially in Poland and especially in India, which led her to ask for more requirements on labeling.
Chicorée Leroux is a subsidiary of the holding Finaler, which also owns brands in Belgium (Pacha) and Spain (Molabe). The company recorded a turnover in 2012 of € 36 million, of which 37% is exported (50 different countries). It employs 185 people in Orchies (France), his seat.
The price of industrial innovation is given by OSEO, branch of the future French “Financing” Bank public investment project in partnership with the Ministry of Productive Renewal in France.
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