Digital Transformation E-Commerce User Experience

Say Cheese to e-business

You like cheese? You like Internet? Then, you are going to salivate while reading the following interview.

#cheeselovers #foodporn #cheese #melty #food #cheesemaker #cheesemonger

The story begins at the Christmas Market at La Recyclerie, Porte de Clignancourt (Paris). I met Clément a guy from Les Nouveaux Fromagers, a start-up sending artisanal cheese through the web. I found their concept quite interesting so I decided to arrange a meeting with the team and go for an interview.

What is the concept of Les Nouveaux Fromagers?

We visit local producers and select the best unpasteurized milk cheeses. Each month, our selection mixes renowned cheeses and discoveries from Les Nouveaux Fromagers. Each box contains 600 to 800g of cheese, as well as a tasting notebook explaining the origin and the production method of the selected cheeses.

What is unique about your brand?

We are passionate people. We were raised with good cheese. In fact, it isn’t easy to find some good unpasteurised cheese at an affordable price (even in France). We are telling a story behind each cheese. We want to share with our customers the same idea of keeping the Gastronomy of France, which obviously couldn’t survive without Epoisses,

Langres or Fourme d’Ambert. We are actually educating our customers so that they can teach their relatives, colleagues or friends.

What is your role in the start-up?

My main job is to carry out community management, ensure after sales service, be in charge of SEO and create marketing content. But, what I like the most is designing templates for digital communication. You must keep on being innovative to propose qualitative brand content. I like to tell stories about our company and its products.

How do you advertise your product/ service?

Word of mouth is in my opinion what brings us the more sales. In fact, people receive their boxes as gifts. So each time they open a box, they aren’t alone. This is a great advantage for us, people get along with our products, like them right after and share.

The other big part of advertising is done through Social Media. Twitter is the funniest for me. It allows more creativity because users are more receptive. There is also a kind of stimulation from other brands that use Twitter in a casual way. Facebook allows us to build a long-term relationship. We organise a lot of events through it. Instagram, is our best way to make people salivate. Try not to salivate in front of a melty cheese! (laughs)

Then comes Youtube, the worldwide known media platform. One morning, we had a great surprise with a call from a famous Youtuber called “Laink”.

He heard about us from a friend who tried one of our boxes. He realised an “unboxing” video about us afterwards. The video has been viewed more than 250 000 times. This was a tremendous advertisement for us.

A famous video game oriented Youtuber doing his unboxing of a box from the start-up

How do you deal with competition?

We have a few direct competitors, which sell cheese boxes online. But thanks to a great job in SEO we are still first on Google and above all we benefit from great brand awareness. Other competitors: supermarkets, cheaper than us but with a lower quality; cheese shops with a great variety of cheese and top quality.

What makes you successful?

The success of our company is based on the “subscription box” concept. This works for food, sport, and fashion for the moment. It could be adapted to almost any retailing industry. We try to set up the idea of « a gift for epicureans ». Cheese is associated with pleasure; cheese is what will make you feel good after a day of work. Our offer works as a complete package. This way, the visitors of our website can understand our prices and what’s really behind.

How do you see the cheese industry in the future?

What happens in the U.S makes us very optimistic. Indeed, the food delivered market is skyrocketing. Actors like Google and Amazon are investing a lot of money in there. Currently, there are 3 main trends growing: the subscription box model, e-commerce and above all the food market. And guess what? We are right in the middle of this evolving crossroad.

I really believe that e-commerce actors like us are going to help producers of artisanal cheese thrive. We see ourselves as kind of rebels defending the good cheese versus industrial cheeses.

Cheese and web, tradition and innovation, does it work?

The best mix! This is one pillar of our strategy. We are keeping the best of old stories while using the latest technology. Unlike wine, which also part of the French culture, cheese talks to everyone. Cheese is not a serious thing; it’s an easy-going product. That’s why it is easy to make people committed. Youngsters, grown-up, elders, common’ everyone love cheese!

What is your positioning?

We position ourselves as a premium quality brand with a friendly “touch”. Our aim is to dust off the vision that people have on cheese. Visitors of our website can feel that we are a genuine team delivering a genuine product. This helps us a lot to build a trustworthy relation with them. Our strategy is built around these 4 key points :

• To …
• Our …
• With …
• That …

It helps us in our daily work to check if we miss one of them. If one is missing, we drift from our core values.

How do you deal clients? How do you manage customer experience?

Our business starts with a lot of hesitations. We are asked about how our cheese is being delivered, in which packaging they are stored, how we manage to keep it cool during shipping.

Cheese lovers are very demanding customers. You have to satisfy them the most. Otherwise cheese is going to have a really different taste (laughs). Seriously, we do our best for them: ensuring fast response in aftersales, ensuring feedback after each box and renew our assortment.

I see that have an English option on your website, are you planning to go abroad?

Well, we are already shipping cheese towards the U.K. We plan to expand in the neighbouring countries such as Germany, Belgium or Netherlands. In fact, we receive more and more enquiries from them. Germany seems to be the first priority target because of its growing demand for artisanal French cheese. Good thing for us, cheese is a good exporting product, except in the U.S where its almost considered as dangerous food.

Thank you Clément; see you next time in my mailbox.

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About the author


Thomas Fontoynont