Jérémy Strohner, CEO of Yooji, in your opinion, what will be the challenges of the food industry in the next 10 years?
This is a (very) vast subject, I believe that beyond the food industry, there are fundamental questions about our food model which must be rethought globally.
At Yooji, as a player in infant nutrition, we must respond to the most demanding consumers: parents; who always want the best for their child (and this is quite legitimate). By inventing a new category in a market that had innovated very little over the past forty years, we have tried on our own scale to address certain challenges of tomorrow and we will continue to do so.
However, I have 3 main challenges:
Agricultural upstream. We must urgently and collectively promote our sectors, be proud of our farms, stop opposing the different production models but rather help everyone to evolve. Finally, allow operators to make a decent living from their formidable profession. It all starts with the quality of the raw material, let’s not forget that.
Biological agriculture. The share of organic must increase in the agro-food industry, it is obvious for our health and for our planet. In infant food, the weight of organic is close to 25% against 6% for all food products; it’s proof that consumers who want the best for their baby are convinced of the benefits of organic. We must help all the agricultural sectors to make organic products more accessible to the consumer. Manufacturers must also favor the use of organic ingredients while being able to promote them to their customers and consumers.
Less processed food. At YOOJI we decided that a 6 year old should be able to understand our ingredient lists. No additives, colorings, preservatives, or even processed ingredients. This is a major challenge for the entire food industry, fortunately indicators like SIGA are emerging and will accelerate collective awareness. Who wants to eat an ingredient they don’t know?
How is your brand/company currently engaging to address these challenges?
Yooji’s mission is: “To better feed babies while respecting the planet on which they will grow up”. CSR commitments are therefore at the heart of our DNA since the creation of the brand.
By becoming a company with a mission in 2021, we have included this mission in the statutes of our company and continue to rely on strong daily commitments: 100% organic sourcing, manufacturing in Agen (47), MSC fish, mainly local supply.
Beyond fundamentals, we are working on 2 specific commitments by trying to modestly unite all the players in the category to follow us:
- Reducing food waste (also a hot topic in baby food). By offering all our products, not as a complete dish but in portions of 10 or 20 grams, we allow each parent to adapt the quantities according to the age and appetite of their child, thus drastically limiting waste. .
- Limitation of packaging. In infant nutrition, there is an equation that needs to change: 1 meal = 1 package. At Yooji we only offer regrouping sachets with between 3 and 12 meals, thus making it possible to drastically reduce the quantities of packaging used.
Could you give us an example, within your company, of an operation in favor of better food for the French in the years to come?
Children have very specific needs until they are 2 years old. However, from the age of 1, many parents stop buying Babyfood products and offer a diet that is not always suitable.
Based on this observation, we have developed a dedicated range for older babies (from 1 year old). A range inspired by Montessori pedagogy: organic sticks to be eaten by hand.
A range of 4 stick recipes combining the right dose recommended by pediatricians of organic vegetables and starches, easy to grasp and eat by hand, to help each baby discover textures and tastes at their own pace, without putting them everywhere . This playful and colorful range helps parents to make their children love vegetables and allows children to develop their motor skills while enjoying themselves.
Personally, what advice would you give to food industry professionals to be ready for the next 10 years?
I believe that we should help everyone to love “eating well”.
I am convinced that eating is much more than nutritional data, it is a moment of sharing, awakening and pleasure that we have the chance to repeat every day.
More information on www.yooji.fr
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