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Michel & Augustin do America

 

The French brand of biscuits conquers the West

 

Since early 2016, biscuits made by the French brand Michel et Augustin are sold in 7,624 Starbucks franchises in the US. The success of the company from Île de France, which just celebrated its 10 years, came from sheer boldness.

 

Cookies made in France that put a smile on your face

Michel & Augustin is a French brand of cookies, yoghourts, fruit juice, appetizers and desserts founded in 2004 by Michel de Rovira and Augustin Paluel-Marmon. The two businessmen bakers started by selling cookies they made themselves to shops in their neighbourhood, but quickly conquered the Paris market, then the French market.

Today, the brand is settled in Boulogne-Billancourt and owes much of its success to the feeling of proximity it maintains with its consumers. On their packaging or on Facebook, the two founders constantly stage scenes, joke with their clients, challenge them, invite them to visit their offices. Behind the quirky tone, they stress that products are made in France. In France, this is a strong argument, but also in other countries were French food is appreciated.

A launch in the US boosted by Starbucks

In June 2015, as the company had just started its conquest of the US market, an unexpected event gave an incredible boost to its international development.

While shopping in a New York food shop, one of the executives of the Starbucks group found Michel & Augustin cookies by chance. He thought they were worth a try and told his CEO Howard Schultz. Schultz contacted the company in Boulogne Billancourt and asked for samples of the famous cookie for the steering committee on the next Monday.

The French company was determined to offer their samples to Howard Schultz in person, and two representatives of Michel & Augustin flew to Seattle, where the Starbucks headquarters are located. And after an unlikely webseries broadcasted live on social networks, the meeting occurred and the chemistry sparked. Since January 6th, lemon-meringue and dark chocolate with a pinch of sea salt cookies are thus available in 7,624 Starbucks stores in all 50 States of the US.

Augustin Paluel-Marmon is proud of this success and determined to make the most of it. He reminded however, that his main objective is wholesale distribution. He stays humble before the stakes: "The Americans did not wait for us to make cookies..."