ECOSYSTEM Solutions: Building brand loyalty through taste with JEAN NIEL
Updated: Jun 17
Most of us in the food industry know that taste is king when it comes to winning consumer hearts… and loyalty. In fact, a 2019 survey conducted by The International Taste Institute show “that 86% of those surveyed stated taste as their primary reason for buying a product”. That is 18% more than price!
This means that taste is the number one lever to build customer loyalty, which becomes of critical importance if you consider that it takes between four to eight purchases for consumers to become loyal customers, and that “brands lose about 50% of its buyers between each repeated purchase.”
Developing the right signature flavor, adapted to the brand’s positioning, local preferences, emerging trends and your target consumer, can strongly affect your product’s ability to stand out in a highly competitive marketplace, and quite frankly, make it or break it!
To discuss more about the brand building potential of flavors, this week we are sharing some key takeaways and insights from a conversation we had with Fabrice DOMART, Commercial Director of the Flavors Division at JEAN NIEL in France. The Company has been in operation since 1779 so it is safe to say that they are true experts when it comes to understanding flavors. Continue scrolling to read more about the Company and how they work with their customers to develop tailor-made flavors.
About The Brand
JEAN NIEL has been designing and producing outstanding premium flavors in the heart of the flavor & fragrance industry, Grasse, in the South of France, since 1779. Their flavor experts aim to continuously exceed standards by developing unique, signature flavors for each customer.
Tell us a little about how the JEAN NIEL journey began?
The Company started in 1779, making us the oldest fragrance and flavor house in France with over 240 years of experience in the industry to date. The brand has grown immensely since its beginnings, and we now boast over 20,000 references in our fragrance and flavor libraries, servicing more than 200 customers in over 40 countries worldwide.
Our three primary categories for fragrance and flavor work focus on Beverages (including soft drinks, spirits, plant-based alternatives...), Dairy-Based Products (ice cream, desserts, yoghurts, fruit preparations, plant-based alternatives...), and Bakery items.
As part of our global business strategy, we place a strong focus on ‘cross-pollination’ between our categories and geographies. The objective of this is to increase synergies and learnings that we can then extend to our customer’s development projects. For example, we can look at what is trending in the beverage category and see how these trends can be incorporated into the ice cream category.
Currently, our key geographies span three continents: France, USA, and Thailand. This broad network of local subsidiaries and agents are what allow us to continually develop our cross-pollination abilities, as well as enhance our multicultural know-how, expertise and innovation capacity.
Part of our capacity to innovate comes from our Essence Replication Technology, which allows us to capture and extract specific flavors within a certain food or beverage product and match those same flavors to a customer project. This is exciting because it can save a lot of time for the customer during the flavor development process and enables us to create a more accurate flavor profile.
What differentiates JEAN NIEL in the market?
One of our greatest strengths is our ability to create truly customised solutions and signature portfolios for each client, and work with them as their business grows to adapt these products and flavors to their evolving needs.
To achieve this, we ensure that across all stages, from raw material sourcing to commercialisation, each client is provided with dedicated commercial support and an all-inclusive product development package focusing on developing creative, consumer-centric products that become top-of-mind for the consumer. In addition, clients also receive special care in terms of our availability for dealing with their queries and needs, and flexibility with regards to minimum orders which are reduced for smaller or emerging brands.
Our flavorists have been trained to research and discover innovative ways to capture and release nature’s very best aromas allowing us to easily develop bespoke, premium and organic flavors, according to each customer’s needs.
In order to ensure that we provide our customers with the best possible results, recommendations, and insights, we aim to stay consistently up-to-date with market data. We have the capacity to map current product and flavor trends per geography (enhanced by our local subsidiaries across 3 continents), and cross-pollinate across our previously mentioned three categories.
What benefits do JEAN NIEL customers derive from working with you?
We appreciate developing real, human, long-term relationships with our customers and already work with a broad range of clients, typically ranging from start-ups to medium-sized players.
When clients come to us, they are usually looking for a supplier that will be able to fully support their development needs, regardless of the project size. We are able to work well with customers who are in need of qualitative testing, stable flavors, and the right professional knowledge to help them understand and work around local legislations.
Ideally, we would recommend beginning to work together on one of three key stages:
In the beginning stages of a project.
In the brainstorming stage, before defining innovation.
In the post-launch stage if improvements to existing products or pricing is required.
When working with the JEAN NIEL team, customers will notice a real commitment from us to making their project successful. This commitment can be seen through our fast response times, high-quality output, creative ways of working, and even down to the required paperwork.
The above is possible due to our lean structures and processes which allow us to maintain low overheads and therefore, more competitive pricing for our customers, in comparison to the more complex structures of a larger R&D centre, for example.
Our local presence in multiple international markets also enables us to consistently operate at a much quicker and more affordable rate.
What are your plans for the near future?
Our ice cream expertise is currently well developed in the French and European markets but we would like to explore launching the application of this knowledge in other markets in the future as well.
Additionally, we have a strong capacity for innovation and our R&D teams are strongly focused on introducing new and innovative concepts and ingredients. For example, the plant-based ice cream segment, roasted fruit flavors, and specific aromas that make us crave more such as freshly baked bread.
In what way would you ideally like to work with new partners?
We feel that partners who are looking to really focus on innovation and differentiation within their category will be able to make the most out of a collaboration with JEAN NIEL as those are two areas that we can help brands thrive in.
With any new collaborations with domestic or international partners made through the INNODELICE network that we are now part of, we hope to build trusted relationships with these partners and connect with real food lovers or “foodies” from around the world who relate to our brand values and goals.
How can partners reach you if they would like to work with JEAN NIEL?
If you would like to collaborate with JEAN NIEL on a future project, you can find more information on how to do that on the INNODELICE website under Suppliers.
Founded by former executives in the Ice Cream industry, INNODELICE aims to create a worldwide ecosystem of solutions within the frozen dessert industry. Thanks to the relationships fostered by INNODELICE, manufacturers, brands, importers, distributors and suppliers can discover, buy and sell solutions to GROW their business. These solutions include co-manufactured and branded products as well as innovative and competitive ingredients, packaging and services. Our collaboration model generates lower costs and fewer risks for our participating partners while optimising their time to market. To learn more about INNODELICE, contact Nicolas MARIE (firstname.lastname@example.org), Andrea MONTREUIL (email@example.com) or visit www.innodelice.com.