Owned by the US-headquartered McCormick, which generated sales of $4.8 billion in 2017, French spice manufacturer Ducros is based in Provence in the south of France, a strategic location close to the industrial ports of Marseille where the bulk of its raw materials arrive.
Its consumer-facing European brands include Ducros in France, Schwartz in the UK, Margão in Portugal, Kamis in Poland and Silvo in the Netherlands.
The new-look packaging for these brands was launched in May in the UK under the Schwartz brand and will progressively be rolled out across Europe with the first products hitting shelves in French supermarkets next month.
Marketing manager Audrey Jackson-Pownall explained the reasoning behind the new look.
“The new Ducros bottle ties in with the positioning of our brand, which is all about the sensory experience. Ducros’ mission is to spice up consumers’ senses. The jar is completely transparent which lets you see the superior quality of the ingredients. The bottle cap has two textures that you feel when you open it. The opening lets you sprinkle the spices and also fits a spoon to measure the dose more easily.
“We’ve kept the fundamentals that have contributed to the success of Ducros. The colours have stayed the same – green for herbs, black for pepper, orange for spices and purple for the blends. We’ve raised visibility around the spice variety on the front packaging. It’s also more modern so we’re addressing a younger public and we hope to inspire new home chefs to join us."
Packaging development director, Ducros EMEA Olivier Rattin said: “We also developed this packaging to reduce our environmental impact, which is very important for McCormick.
“Part of our objectives for 2025 is to our carbon footprint by 25% and this new packaging improves on that by 7%. The old jar weighed 12 g more in glass so we reduced this, and also optimised the plastic. Even though the plastic cap is a bit wider to allow measurements, it is 1 g lighter. Overall, this reduces the lifecycle of the packaging by 7%.
“We developed internal methodologies to determine the carbon impact. For us, the impact is based on the emissions factor and the choice of materials. The reduction in glass is where we managed to have the biggest impact as 80% impact of the carbon footprint is linked to the emissions of this material.
“In addition to the aim of cutting our carbon footprint by 25%, we also want 100% of our packaging to be recyclable or re-usable by 2025. And for our plastic PET packaging [for B2B products], we want 60% recycled PET.
McCormick is always looking for new technologies to improve the quality and freshness of our ingredients,” said Jackson-Pownall. “Packaging plays a major role in this, principally by preserving the freshness and in its user-friendliness.”
Meeting different consumer needs
The manufacturer also innovates by adapting its product portfolio to consumer needs.
“Often, consumers’ preferences are linked to their cooking habits and ability to cook. We know that in France, Spain or Italy, consumers are more at ease in cooking a meal from A to Z. Our English friends look more for solutions so we really have this dynamic between either ingredients for scratch cooking or culinary aids to help people that are novices in the kitchen.
“So in France, we see a much bigger demand for pepper, herbs and spices and the English market is much more advanced for seasoning and spice blends.”