An insatiable appetite for growth for Picadeli France

success story
An insatiable appetite for growth for Picadeli France
David Bicheron, Managing Director of Picadeli France
27 November 2019 / Food Industries, Grow your business

The Swedish company is developing in France from Provence

Fresh, self-service salads with a wide choice of ingredients, satisfying all tastes at reasonable prices... the concept of Picadeli, born in Sweden in 2009, was imported to France in 2017 by four French entrepreneurs who chose Marseille as the French subsidiary's headquarters. Picadeli is now a common sight in Monoprix, Carrefour, Franprix and other stores such as Relay. In just two years, the brand has accumulated a presence in 425 salad bars in France and Benelux. It sold 8 million salads in 2019. This rapid growth has seen Picadeli expand into larger premises on the edge of Marseille's Euroméditerranée district. Provence Promotion, which supported the company in its search for a base, has recently acknowledged the food tech company's dynamism and success in creating jobs in the local region by awarding it "Invest in Provence" certification.

The French are no strangers to grabbing a quick bite at a Monop' shop. Self-service salad bars are springing up in supermarkets of all sizes, railway stations and airports, offering food that is both quick and healthy to eat.

"Picadeli is a keen adopter of vegan trends. Food quality and freshness is particularly important. Digital technology plays a key role in guaranteeing food safety, traceability and product re-stocking. It helps us to manage all our bars optimally, avoiding waste," explains David Bicheron, CEO of Picadeli France. In 2017, this former agri-food industry executive adapted Swedish company Picadeli's successful concept for the French and Benelux markets.

425 salad bars managed in real time from Marseille

"From our headquarters, near La Joliette in Marseille, we manage 425 salad bars in real time. We already have 25 employees and will be recruiting 10 new staff in 2020. The company has flourished, doubling its turnover in just one year. We're enthusiastic promoters of the city, and enjoy welcoming our suppliers in our offices, which are decorated with a fresco by the graffiti artist Alfe, illustrating the city of the future. For us, Marseille is the city of the future. We're keen to put down strong local roots," says David Bicheron, whose company has been given the "Great Place To Work" award.

And this dynamism has recently been recognized by Provence Promotion, awarding it the "Invest in Provence" label. It's a strong vote of confidence for the company, whose real estate searches have been supported by the agency, with training assistance also provided via its employment division. "They've really been there for us," David emphasizes.

A new logistical platform to serve consumer needs better

Picadeli France is growing with the help of STEF. The subsidiary is working with the refrigerated transportation group to invest in a temperature-controlled warehouse. "We supply our stores two to three times a week. Until now, we had just one central warehouse in the Paris region," David explains. The facility is geographically close to the agricultural co-operatives, as Picadeli prefers to buy locally in season. "Our cucumbers, tomatoes and young shoots are produced by our partner farmers using a sector-based approach.

We're partnering with Soram Vitacroc at Plan d'Organ, the Provence subsidiary of the Anjou-based Rosée des Champs cooperative. They cut up and pack the fruit and vegetables," David adds. The 40 ingredients (bulgur wheat, mushrooms, salmon, taboulet, etc.) are delivered and tracked via the QR codes scanned by salad-bar staff. Digital technology enables product rotation to be measured and consumer tastes to be identified precisely.