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When innovation fuels other parties’ innovation potential

When innovation fuels other parties’ innovation potential


I met at the SIAL 2012 fair with Emmanuelle Bernhardt, the marketing responsible of Groix et Nature, a company based in Groix (Brittany) which specializes in canned sea-food. As many SMEs in the sector, Groix et Nature claims a local positioning, sourcing exclusively local products and branding their geographical origin.

This is a common strategy among SMEs and a well-working one in most cases, although the growth potential is usually limited by the very niche positioning of the firm.


What is seldom seen however is the capacity of such firms, anchored in traditionalism, to bring breakthrough innovation.

I wouldn’t say that Groix et Nature brought a disruptive innovation on the market, but they innovated at least enough to get an innovation prize at the SIAL fair.

The product which got the prize is a lobster-based oil (wow, that’s exotic …) which can be used for many applications, ranging from frying fish to dressing salads. This is certainly a niche product, reserved for professionals and gourmets. Yet there is an interesting story behind it.


To prepare this product Groix et Nature is working with 5 Degrés Ouest, another innovative firm in the food sector which has put on the market a revolutionary process to decorticate raw lobsters.


Shells are the by-product of this unique process and are used by Groix et Nature to develop their oil, based on grape seed oil to ensure it stays neutral in terms of taste. One could therefore say that one firm’s innovation enabled another firm to fuel its own innovation process; a kind of virtuous circle if you prefer.


For those interested in the product rather than in the story, please note it is not yet for sale. It will debut in the shelves of Lafayette Gourmet as of Dec, 1st.

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Dr. Pierre-Nicolas Schwab is the founder of IntoTheMinds. He specializes in e-commerce, retail and logistics. He is also a research fellow in the marketing department of the Free University of Brussels and acts as a coach for several startups and public organizations. He holds a PhD in Marketing, a MBA in Finance, and a MSc in Chemistry. He can be contacted by email, Linkedin or by phone (+32 486 42 79 42)

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