Giffard joined the Valorial community last April. We talked to Edith Giffard, Associate Director.
We manufacture Liqueurs and Syrups. It all began in the heart of Angers in the 1880s…
Our great-grandfather, Emile Giffard, was a chemist and herbalist. As a curious epicurean, he decided to investigate the digestive and refreshing virtues of mint. He selected a single variety of peppermint, Mitcham, discovered in England, and went on to concoct a refined, refreshing transparent liqueur, from the confines of his dispensary in the Place du Ralliement, in 1885. He baptised his invention “Menthe-Pastille”, in reference to the mint sweets that were all the rage at the time.
Today, our range comprises nearly 60 flavours of Liqueurs and over 80 flavours of Syrups, developed at our two sites in Angers – Avrillé for Liqueurs and St Léger des Bois for Syrups – and distributed in more than 80 countries.
We export over half of our production to Europe, the USA, Canada, Asia and the Middle East, to cocktail bars, restaurants, coffee shops and more.
In terms of products, we have just released a Jasmine Syrup and in mid-June we’ll be launching a Lemongrass Syrup.
On the business side of things, we are just back from Food Hotel Asia in Singapore and in June we’ll be attending two major cocktail bar trade shows: Cocktail Spirits in Paris and Imbibe Live in London.
International barmen seek the excellent quality of products like ours, there’s nothing new there. What’s new is their growing sensitivity to their being natural, eco-friendly and healthy.
Because innovation is a priority and we will make better and faster progress thanks to the competitiveness cluster’s networks, links between industrial firms, intelligence tools, etc. which promote idea sharing and partnerships. The days organised on various topics, innovative technologies, functional ingredients, quality, etc. with players from different sectors will be interesting to generate ideas or concepts in other sectors.
We have common issues shared with players in different agri-food sectors to ours, against a backdrop of increasing concern for natural, clean label, eco-friendly, healthy foods. We’ll feel less isolated!
We believe that joining Valorial could be useful to meet other players in our sector with whom we can implement collaborative projects and work on more ambitious long term projects.
Innovation is a strategic challenge. We are a family-run, independent business, established for over 130 years, with a historical flagship product at the origin of our business. Our roots and our values form the foundation of our innovation process through which we create new products and new flavours, to pre-empt and offer our customers the best products for current or emerging uses.
Naturalness is an absolute priority, the taste of the fruit or plants and so on must stay intact in our products, quality is non-negotiable, ongoing research is therefore a complete must. This encompasses both research into raw materials and varieties, into extraction and assembly processes, and into the naturalness of aromas and colourings.
An environmentally friendly approach is a key value to preserving the quality of plants, the basis of all our liqueurs and syrups.
We have set up an innovation hub, led by our marketing department in close collaboration with our R&D department.