In times of shortages, the advantages of made in France are no longer to be proven. Manufacturing, but above all local sourcing, has thus enabled the Martin-Pouret brand of vinegars and mustards to take on a new dimension.
During the first six months of the year, the company from the Orleans agglomeration was able to sell as many jars of mustard, around 220,000, as during the whole of 2021. And expects in 2022 a turnover of 4 million euros, double that of 2019, the year before the Covid but also the one in which Paul-Olivier Claudepierre and David Matheron took over this family business founded in 1797.
Very good harvest 2022
Despite beginnings marked by the pandemic, the duo very quickly woke up the sleeping beauty, helped by stock shortages of mustard. Martin-Pouret has, in fact, capitalized on a long-standing choice: to obtain seeds near its factory. When the supermarkets, which represent around 60% of its turnover, ran out of products between February and April, they came knocking on the door of the SME using traditional methods to restock their shelves.
“We were able to develop our distribution network. This opportunity allowed us to reach new audiences who were able to discover our brand. We hope to retain them,” says David Matheron. The equivalent of four to six months of orders was recorded for the period of May and June alone. With an impossibility to respond to all requests, despite the acceleration of production, and the need to allocate stocks as accurately as possible.
The pace continues. The first seeds for 2022 were ground with a stone grinder at the end of June. The very good harvest this summer will help maintain the pace until the end of the year.
Work with a seed company is in progress to deposit a seed adapted to the Val-de-Loire next year. It is a question of expanding the sources of supply, in addition to the farmer of Pithiviers now supplying all the seeds with a contract guaranteeing him a minimum profitability whatever the hazards of the harvest. The diversification of cultivation areas should make it possible to cope with climatic risks while remaining in the region.
Well known locally, the brand, originally a specialist in vinegar, has increased its notoriety nationally. While she is aware that the mass return to the shelves of mustards made from Canadian raw materials, scheduled for the end of 2022-beginning of 2023, should reduce demand by 20 to 30% compared to what it is currently, she hopes to preserve the fruits of the advance taken. And make all its products benefit from it.
“Our goal is to put wine vinegar back on the tables,” adds David Matheron. Italian balsamic vinegar has indeed gained a lot of ground in recent years in French kitchens.
To gain momentum, Martin-Pouret also intends to play the diversification card beyond its two flagship segments and French pickles. A French ketchup joined the ranges, before the arrival in 2023 of pickles designed with a former participant of “Top Chef”, Chloé Charles, then of mayonnaises.