Updated: May 20
Vanilla continues to surpass short-term food trends and maintain its reputation as one of the most popular flavours in the food and beverage industry, although it is said that less than 1% of it comes from a fully natural source - the vanilla orchid.
A recent growth in consumer demand for cleaner label products has increased the need for ingredients like natural vanilla. As a result, the industry is currently experiencing a concerning shortage of vanilla beans as it struggles to meet this demand while balancing a long supply cycle of difficult growing conditions, labour exploitation, and a weak flowering in 2021 in Madagascar (where 60-80% of the world’s vanilla is sourced).
According to Food & Beverage Insider, not only does it take at least eight months to cultivate vanilla beans, but to produce high-quality, natural vanilla pods, specific cultivars must be grown with each vanilla orchid’s flower pollinated by hand by an experienced grower. Additionally, the regions of the world where it is possible to grow vanilla are limited, therefore maintaining close relationships with local growers and processors is of the utmost importance in ensuring consistently high-quality supplies for brands.
We recently spoke with Fanny Grymonprez, Marketing Manager at Eurovanille, Natural Vanilla Specialists based in France, to understand more about their capabilities for sourcing and securing a constant 100% natural vanilla supply for their customers in over 85 countries worldwide. Continue reading below to discover more on Eurovanille.
Supplying Natural Vanilla Since 1990
Based in France, Eurovanille have been supplying their customers, from small local brands to prestigious Parisian Chefs, with the very best of natural vanilla pods since 1990, making them one of the top 10 flavour houses in the world! Their initial success in this area led to the later development of an extensive product portfolio of 100% natural vanilla products by 2022 including pods, powders, extracts, flavours, concentrates, and vanilla pearls, a Eurovanille exclusive product. All the company's products are processed in their factory in France.
“Vanilla is and always has been the most popular flavour in the world.” - Fanny Grymonprez
2019 IDFA research confirmed that two-thirds of US consumers still consider vanilla to be their favourite ice cream flavour so it is essential for ice cream brands and manufacturers to have at least one signature vanilla product in their portfolio. As the second most expensive spice in the world (after Saffron), understanding how much natural vanilla should be used, and when, is an important strategy for food manufacturers to grasp.
The fact that Eurovanille specialises in natural vanilla enables them to dive deeper into key technologies and formats to deliver the best vanilla experience in the most pertinent and affordable way. They are involved throughout the entire process of the vanilla supply chain from receiving, transforming, and processing the raw ingredient in different forms according to customer needs, to packing and shipping the finished product. All the processing stages are carried out in their factory in France where they also have a state-of-the-art extractor for carrying out the highly specialised hydro-alcoholic extraction phase.
By meeting the real needs of various customer segments such as Chefs, Industry, Wholesale and Retail, the company has been able to establish their position as market leader in the European and International food industry with over 6000 customers in Europe and 150 distributors worldwide.
A customer-driven team that maintains lead times as short as possible, Ms. Grymonprez explained that they are constantly working on improving their supply chain through close collaboration with all departments, in particular their R&D department who are continuously looking into developing new, in-demand products and more efficient processes so that each customer has their own unique and made-to-measure solution to differentiate from competitors.
“We design a wide range of products and formats to show the many ways vanilla can be used that brings out its full range of flavours.”
The Eurovanille Marketing department is constantly analysing trends in the vanilla market and collaborates with their R&D lab, which is also at their customer’s disposal, to study any new innovations or products in the pipeline as well as find new ways of expanding or adapting current product ranges. A fully bespoke service is provided to create ready-made products with the customer’s own material.
Specialists in Sustainable Natural Vanilla Sourcing
As a member of the Sustainable Vanilla Initiative (SVI) since 2016, Eurovanille contributes to the vanilla sector’s sustainability and responsible sourcing practices. In response to the recent vanilla market crisis, SVI has been providing innovative solutions to expand the vanilla supply, produce and guarantee its traceability in a sustainable manner, and to improve the vanilla producers’ income and the sustainability of their businesses.
Additionally, as an active member of the ‘Syndicat National des Ingrédients Aromatiques Alimentaires’ (SNIAA), they are able to ensure that French, European and International regulations are anticipated and properly implemented.
“Being a vanilla specialist is a real commitment and we do all we can to ensure we know as much as possible about our sector so that we can bring our customers the most unique and up-to-date insights and information as we get it.”
For instance, the Eurovanille team is currently involved in a genome study with some of the best researchers in the world creating new products for top Chefs in the restaurant, pastry, and ice cream industries.
Since 2017, they have also been involved in agronomic research to enable vanilla planters to benefit from more productive and disease-resistant varieties. With a 1000m2 greenhouse and a plantation in Mauritius, they are able to regroup different species of vanilla trees to carry out scientific studies with the support of the world's best researchers in tropical species. For the first time, after 5 years of work, 83% of the vanilla genome has been deciphered in May 2022.
The company is also IFS certified since 2014 which means that they select and develop the best ingredients to meet customer specifications in line with various international regulatory constraints. Alongside their offering of halal, kosher, fairtrade, and organic vanilla, Eurovanille’s long-term supplier relationships allow them to trust in their supplier’s selection of the highest quality vanilla pods available for each customer as per their specific requirements.
Ice cream and frozen dessert brands whose consumers are increasingly aware and demanding of their favourite brands to do the ‘right thing’ and be more responsible in their supply and production processes will be able to benefit from Eurovanille’s social, environmental and economic level commitments in developing effective partnership programmes that help all partners across the supply chain.
What’s next for Eurovanille?
Eurovanille is focusing on expanding into the global vanilla market in a sustainable way. This plan will begin through the opening of a new office in the US market and the development of a new factory in France to fulfil increased demand. In addition, their team is continuing to deepen their knowledge of global vanilla trends and insights, and expand their experimental greenhouse.
Committed to a CSR approach, Eurovanille has also set itself the challenge of minimising its environmental impact. Currently, 100% of Eurovanille's organic vanilla shipments are imported by both plane and boat but they will be transitioning to having more than 50% of their volumes imported by boat only in 2022 and aim to increase this to more than 65% in 2023. In addition, Eurovanille's supplies tend towards 100% organic vanilla.
“We can prepare and deliver orders in a very short time, at any time, while always being careful to respect the vanilla cultivation calendar so we can guarantee the naturalness of our products.”
Interested in meeting new partners in the ice cream and frozen dessert industry who are passionate about natural vanilla, especially in the US market, Eurovanille are open to conversations with partners looking for long-term, sustainable relationships from their vanilla supplier in exchange for a proactive partnership that guarantees year-round availability of products and puts your needs as a customer first.
How to start collaborating with Eurovanille?
If you would like to start a conversation with the Eurovanille team, we will be more than happy to facilitate that introduction. You can learn more about Eurovanille and their products here on our website, and if you are interested in discussing potential partnership opportunities together, reach out to Andrea on firstname.lastname@example.org and we will connect you.
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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 Andrea MONTREUIL (email@example.com) or visit www.innodelice.com.