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Mounting a project

Cémoi Group
Development of a French premium chocolate for overseas export by improved control of aromatic profiles of Ivorian production throughout the process chain.
Customer scope: 

R&D management, Quality management, Sustainable Development team

Efficient Innovation team: 

3 consultants from the Agro expertise unit

The Cémoi Group, a chocolate-making company dating back to 1814, is the foremost chocolatier in France, the second-largest industrial chocolate-manufacturer in France and the third-largest in Europe, which has been a strong growth market for the past ten years or so.

Recently, Cémoi's growth strategy has been geared to overseas exports, with one “Quality and Premium” line (USA, CANADA, AUSTRALIA), and one “Discovering Chocolate” line (Asia, including China).

In this context, the Hermès programme represents a complete overhaul of the group's strategy, focusing it much more sharply on Research, Development and Innovation. Interaction with the consumer also takes pride of place, the objective being to gather, develop and promote know-how on cocoa and chocolate in the interests of the quality of the end product and customer satisfaction.

The group has always been present at every stage of the industry, from the plantation to the chocolate bar, and starting in 2010 set up a premium, sustainable and traceable cocoa line in partnership with 60,000 planters, 19,000 of whom are organised in 24 cooperatives.

To successfully implement this new strategy Cémoi decided to get support for certain competencies, and the Qualimediterranée competitiveness cluster advised it to contact Efficient Innovation. This was a great first – the emergence of a fine, family-owned company into the world of collaborative projects.

The objective of Efficient Innovation’s mission was to support Cémoi in:

  • Drawing up an inventory of the locations of projects involved in the Hermès programme
  • Determining the priority project
  • Clearly defining the objectives, means and framework of this project, including ensuring that expectations were consistent with the respective external competences  
  • Writing the application for public funding; in this case, the Fonds Unique Interministériel was identified as being the most relevant. 
Mission method: 

This mission presented two main difficulties: introducing a new openness to the world in a company which has for a long time worked (and worked well!) alone, and guiding the teams through the administrative “jungle” of funding applications.

The first goal was to adequately capture the essence of the company: who is Cémoi? What did Cémoi want to be, beyond a manufacturer for other brands? Our experts spent time with the Cémoi teams at the historic Perpignan site, to soak up the spirit of this family business but also to fully understand the new strategic ambitions underpinning the Hermès project.

The second phase consisted of identifying the abundant projects making up the Hermès programme and, above all, characterising them according to a number of indicators (level of maturity, time-to-market, necessary means, socio-economic impact, etc.) to be able to prioritise them and, lastly, to select one to bring it to fruition.

The Efficient Innovation teams then set about identifying the competences that were lacking to implement the project. The two proposed partners were validated by Cémoi immediately and everyone quickly became involved.

The final part of the mission, and not the easiest, consisted of compiling the application for funding from the Fond Unique Interministériel. Efficient Innovation therefore dedicated two consultants to coordinating the drafting of a scientific and technical application of extremely high quality, thanks to painstaking contributions from all partners. The market, economic spin-offs and social impact were set out in great detail. The final step in this extremely well-supported application was the coordinated gathering and validation of the required administrative documents. Throughout this phase, presentations were made to the Qualiméditerranée competitiveness cluster, regional co-funders and the national financing body.

Mission outcome 

The project was accepted and funded; it will start in January 2016 after the recruitment of a project manager at Cémoi.

Indirect mission outcome 

Trust in partners, trust in collaborative work. Cémoi has asked us to start work on the next projects.