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Will Boco revamp the food-served-over-the-counter sector?

BOCO is one food-served-over-the-counter concept that is currently attracting a lot of attention in Paris. Launched by the Ferniot brothers (Simon is a business guy who has sold his latest food complement company; Vincent is a well-known journalist and TV guy), BOCO was first started in a corner street of Avenue de l’Opera in Paris.

I met with Simon Ferniot on a Saturday to discuss the genesis of their business idea, their future plan, and the DNA of their concept.


The genesis of BOCO

The idea of Boco is actually not that of the Ferniot brothers. It stems from Marc Veyrat who opened on his own a similar concept in the Alps mountains with the hope to change the world. The ambitions of Veyrat were obviously not really well served by the location of the unique point of sales. The Ferniot brothers approached Veyrat to discuss a revamping of the strategy with the idea to associate more than one chef. The idea was rejected by Veyrat and the Ferniots started on their own.


The DNA of the concept

BOCO’s concept relies on selling high-quality organic food in little jars (the translation of is “bocaux” in French, hence the name “Boco” which is the phonetic equivalent). Those little jars can be either taken away (they become yours) or served warm in the store. If you visit Cozna Vera website you’ll see that it’s exactly the same kind of experience which is proposed.


Plans for the future

Boco Opera opened in May 2011 and is currently the point of sale with the best KPI’s. It is well implanted in the Opera area and is opened also in the evening (25% of sales).

Two other salespoints were opened in May 2012 (Bercy Village) and October 2012 (Saint-Lazare) which work also well, though with different types of clients; two new openings are scheduled for 2013.

In terms of marketing strategy Simon explains they want to develop their breakfast offering to broaden their product range and develop their B2B offering.



Advice for your marketing strategy

Once again I was impressed by the entrepreneurial vision and the execution. Meeting with entrepreneurs like Simon Ferniot helps stay humble; his attention for details, his professionalism and the incredible quality of product and service is the magical recipe for success. I remained amazed by the perfection of the Opera store. There is just nothing wrong in the execution.

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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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