Bernadette Byrne, Paris, Bord Bia- Irish Food Board
Charal the French leader in value-added branded snacking/burger products, plan to launch a new range of products this September, in response to competition from private label products.
Charal has a 29% market share of the frozen mince segment in volume terms, which is up 11% on last year’s levels. This share of the market is worth around 33% in value, a 15% increase on last year’s levels. Charal will launch the brand “l'Authentique” in September, a thicker burger inspired by the butcher’s standard weight (120 g compared to the standard 100g), with more taste and less fat (10%) due to a superior muscle selection.
Charal dominates the chilled convenience segment with their “share of the burger market estimated at 34% volume and 47% value in April 2012, according to SymphonyIRI”. Charal is continuously changing their product offering to meet consumer expectation for a variety of different products. Some of the innovation that consumers should expect to see on retail shelves this September include, an Italian burger, consisting of ciabatta bread, pesto sauce and mozzarella and a “Montagnard” burger product composed of lardon-and-cheese encrusted bun, beef, bacon, emmental cheese and pickles.
According to TNS, Miniature format products are growing in the French market, thanks to the “aperitif “culture and the growing consumer need for convenience products. A new range of pre-cooked microwaveable mini meat balls which can be heated in less than 2 minutes will allow the brand to position itself in this niche. The range entitled “Petits Plats & Apéritifs” offers three recipes, including Italian and onion flavours and will be available in packs of 25 or 60 meatballs.
Finally, a microwaveable beef and pepper sauce wrap consisting of Charal beef, tomato, cheese and pepper sauce wrapped in a wheat tortilla, will target consumers looking for an alternative to sandwiches, and can be heated in its packaging in less than a minute.
The importance of the “aperitif” culture and miniature format offerings should be considered by Irish companies targeting or currently operating in the French snacking market.