French culinary innovations at the “Gourmet Sélection” trade fair: original jams and brand new products!

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December 2018

In late September, Paris plays host at the Porte de Versailles to the annual “Gourmet Sélection” event, a “delicatessen and gourmet food and wine trade fair” formerly known as Gourmet Food and Wine.
Over the years, this small, friendly trade fair has evolved into an unmissable event for players in the French food processing industry suppling local stores. Delicatessen owners, buyers for grocery chains, and major brands come here to talk to their usual suppliers and to select new products.

There are new brands with innovative culinary propositions which have only been on the market for a few months, but major food processing giants which have been in business for several generations also present their very latest products. They are all delighted that millennials in the 18-34 age bracket and the older generation (aged 55 to 70) are keen on gastro-food and everyday treats and are therefore more inclined to seek advice on their purchases from delicatessens. 

At this sixth event, sponsored by food journalist and founder of BOCO, Vincent Ferniot, delicatessen owners were able to discover traditional and original products and more particularly to talk to producers who are very keen and proud to share their expertise.

Products created by French artisans and SMEs were very well represented, reflecting the great variety of French regional culinary traditions: black garlic, foie gras, potchevlech, samphire, regional mustards, spices, herbal teas, nougats, spreads, biscuits from Brittany and Normandy, fruit juices, liqueurs (to be drunk in moderation!), sweets, chocolates, etc.

French regional products are still safe bets, especially when you consider that 53% of delicatessen customers are curious gourmets, 32% are knowledgeable gourmets, and only 7% are new to the delicatessen experience (Source: Le Monde de l’Epicerie n°31).

Other products presented at the trade fair are genuine culinary innovations featuring original recipes and new styles of packaging: edible insects, bottled broths to be drunk hot or cold, seaweed pâtés, French-style ketchups, red, white and blue chocolates, and herbal teas presented like gems against a dark background. These new products are becoming increasingly prominent: 59% of retail customers expect novelty.

Developments in the fresh and bulk sector were also well represented, and this encompasses the fundamental trend for “home-made” products and eco-friendly ingredients and packaging.

Also present were many jam manufacturers – both traditional and historic players and new entrants to the market. Orchard owners keen to take their passion for fruit to the next level by cooking it or simply jam enthusiasts who want to go into business all came to share their passion for what they do.

In the different aisles there were opportunities to sample classic French products such as apricot, strawberry and orange, etc. Traditional flavours with roots in French home jam-making still have a bright future: 21% of people buy them in grocery stores for everyday consumption.

There were also original jams made from unusual fruit varieties or featuring surprising combinations. Some 41% of delicatessen customers are buying gifts, which explains why jams are such a hot favourite!

The appearance of new jam-makers and creative recipes reflects the very dynamic state of the French jam market. The French have always enjoyed sampling original jams for spreading at breakfast time or mixing with yoghurt, fromage blanc and other dairy products.

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