French gastronomy was recently added to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list. Leveraging the richness and diversity of French gastronomy and the powerful appeal of France and its art de vivre, Mr Pierre Lellouche, Secretary of State for Foreign Trade, has launched an ambitious campaign for export promotion — So French, So Good — to showcase France’s food-and-drink sector and the country’s gastronomy worldwide.
French gastronomy was recently added to UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list. This official recognition of France’s culinary tradition has been made possible thanks to the efforts, over the years, of a range of partners on foreign markets — importers, distributors and restaurateurs, among others — who, by contributing towards the promotion of France’s food products, of her terroirs and her know-how, have played a crucial part in strengthening the international dynamism of this sector of excellence.
The goal of the So French, So Good campaign is to whet the appetite of people across the globe for French excellence and, thereby, to promote exports of French food-and-drink products, while raising awareness of the nation’s dining tradition.
First launched at the Foodex trade fair, in Japan, this campaign is targeted at a number of key countries and will take the form of French pavilions at international food fairs around the world, as well as a festivals of French gastronomy, due to take place on (or around the time of) Bastille Day (i.e. 14 July).
Starting in 2011, the international So French, So Good campaign will be rolled out in Belgium, Brazil, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia, Spain, Sweden, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States.
In Britain, the launch of So French, So Good will be marked by a French restaurant festival organized by the French Trade Commission UBIFRANCE in the UK, taking place during the week of 14 July and beyond, in the course of which several London restaurants will be offering So French, So Good special offers to their patrons.
The campaign will be advertised in a leaflet inserted in 35,000 issues of Time Out magazine, going exclusively to Time Out subscribers on 13 July. Partner restaurants and shops will also be listed on the website dedicated to the campaign (www.sofrenchsogood.com).
Participating restaurants will include, among others, Club Gascon, Comptoir Gascon, Chelsea Brasserie and L’atelier de Joel Robuchon, as well as restaurant chains such as Chez Gérard and Café Rouge. In all, more than 60 restaurants are expected to take part in So French, So Good on (and around) 14 July; they will all be committed to offering special offers to their customers over the period.
The main objectives of this campaign are as follows. Firstly, the campaign aims to inject enthusiasm for French food and French cuisine and, additionally, boost French exports of food products.
Second, So French, So Good is intended as a platform to pool together the efforts made by importers, distributors and restaurateurs, among others, who, by contributing towards the promotion of French products and savoir-faire, have, over the years, helped to strengthen the international dynamism of this key sector.
Thirdly, the campaign will help to inject a renewed momentum into French cuisine on international markets, thus boosting French agri-foodstuff exports.
Fourth, So French, So Good will make it possible to draw a range of service-sector industries into this new-found dynamism on export markets — business players whose activity is directly linked to the food-and-drink sector’s success, such as catering companies and restaurants, as well as tableware manufacturers and designers.
So French, So Good will adapt communication and promotional tools to foreign markets and make them available to French professionals based outside France: this illustrates the fact that the French authorities are committed to the growth of businesses across the food-and-drink sector, and to the men and women who work for those businesses.
So French, So Good includes a series of short films that will be broadcast on TV channels in target countries in order to promote French products and cuisine through the presentation of creative, simple recipes.
So French, So Good features a web portal that represents a gateway to the world of French gastronomy. The portal features an integrated GPS functionality that allows users to easily find outlets selling French products as well as restaurants just around the corner from them — or anywhere else in the world, for that matter.
So French, So Good also features a B2B website that includes a virtual trade fair, allowing interested parties to get in touch with French-based suppliers of wine, spirits and other beverages, food products, and tableware.
So French, So Good encompasses the International Festival for French Gastronomy, to be hosted in cities around the world on Bastille Day.
Finally, So French, So Good incorporates the creation of Maison de la Gastronomie Française in order to represent French products and producers at trade shows, in international airports, and in major shopping centres around the world.
France’s farming sector and its food industry play an important role in the French economy. The agri-foodstuff industry currently generates 15% of France’s total exports and employs over 250,000 workers in the country — as many as the aerospace sector. There is no doubt that France is in the premier league of food exporters worldwide, but it is a competitive market — and more so than ever — where there is no room for complacency.
About the French Trade Commission UBIFRANCE in the UK
UBIFRANCE is the French export-support agency. As the partner of reference for French companies wishing to export, UBIFRANCE offers a complete range of services based on the provision of information on export markets, legal issues and regulations, as well as international finance and tenders, while also supplying sectorial data.
In addition, UBIFRANCE offers export advice and targeted support to companies’ commercial activities, such as exploratory visits, partnership meetings, foreign exhibitions and international press communication. Finally, UBIFRANCE runs the International Postgraduate Programme (VIE) for employing qualified personnel and young graduates outside France.
The Trade Commission of the French Embassy in London assists trade development between France and the UK; it offers a wide range of services to French-based companies, so as to assist them in their business activities within the UK. As such, the Trade Commission organises B2B events in the form of conferences and networking opportunities, mainly in London.
Your contact at the French Trade Commission in London regarding the So French, So Good campaign is Ms Amélie Galatry (details below).
Ms Amélie Galatry
Senior Trade Adviser
In charge of So French, So Good campaign
Food & Drink Department
The French Trade Commission UBIFRANCE in the UK
Telephone (direct line): 020-7024-3653
For further information about So French, So Good, please go to: www.sofrenchsogood.com
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