France News of the Week by Le Figaro in English: December 23, 2011

France News of the Week by Le Figaro in English: December 23, 2011
  France News of the Week by our news partner, Le Figaro in English Bon Appétit à l’Américaine, As US Food Giant General Mills Booms In France Paris—In a country renowned for food, French citizens may be drifting from their croissants and boeuf bourguignon to boxed Old El Paso tacos and Green Giant canned goods. What’s happening to this gastronomic mecca? In France, the only food company to register double-digit growth was the American food giant General Mills, which by the end of November totaled a sales increase of 16% over the course of 2011. Owner of Green Giant, Old El Paso and Häagen-Dazs, General Mills France’s sales boosts are ahead of its next closest competitor, French company Fleury Michon (+12%). “After 10% growth last year, we have grown again in 2011 in France,” boasted Oliver Faujour, president of General Mills France, the largest branch of the group after the United States. “We hope to double our sales over the next ten years.” General Mills’ performance can be explained by a low market penetration rate. Only 13% of French households buy Häagen-Dazs ice cream, not more than 14% buy Green Giant corn products. To boost sales, General Mills changed its perspective. “We view France as an emerging country, like China to Europe, with comparable growth rates for our brands” explains Faujour. In the General Mills France office, a Chinese flag was added to the map of France. To grow at a quicker rate, Häagen-Dazs doubled its number of innovations in two years, creating new flavors like salted caramel and coconut trifle (coming in 2012), and a range of new desserts. To promote its products, Häagen-Dazs was the number one investor in television advertisements in its sector this year. These efforts resulted in a 22% growth, and the earning of 1.6 points in market share in supermarkets this year. Häagen-Dazs is even testing home delivery out of its shop on the Champs Elysées, and will have stores opening in Toulouse, Bordeaux, and Deauville in 2012. >>Read more at Le Figaro in English Bright Idea? French Scientists Turn To Bacteria To Power Batteries Rennes—In the corner of his lab at the University of Rennes 1, Frederic Barrière demonstrates a battery powered by the symbiosis of small plants and bacteria. A small light-emitting diode connecting to the two poles of the device illuminates, proving that the system produces an electric current. Barrière, a chemistry researcher with France’s National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), explains that the battery functions very simply, producing a modest amount of electricity by utilizing living microorganisms. The technique isn’t powerful enough to run something like an electric car, but it still has exciting potential. The system is currently undergoing trials, for example, in sewage treatment plants to not only clean the water but also produce electricity. The microbiological battery, which Barrière developed alongside a young doctorate student, is an impressive variation on a device that’s already been around for more than a century: fuel cells. >>Read more at Le Figaro in English The Chicest Sandwich In Paris Is Now Available To Go. If You Can Afford It Paris—It may not be he healthiest sandwich. And it’s the cheapest, certainly not. But it HAS truffles, so for this one time there’s no point in counting calories or really euros. Ahh, the black truffle from Perigord Rhône Valley Golden Valley, minced between two slices of sourdough bread with a little salted butter. I’m in heaven—until I remember the price: 65 euros ($84). For some, this signature dish of Michel Rostang, a leader with two Michelin stars to his name, is not new. What is new is the sandwich at the great grocery Bon Marché, an upscale supermarket in Paris’ 7th arrondissement, where this infamous sandwich Is now available for takeout. Sold from a sophisticated box, slipped inside of an elegant fabric pouch, the sandwich is protected by cellophane, a much less distinguished aesthetic. >>Read more at Le Figaro in English Weekly France news roundups by our news partner, Le Figaro in English Subscribe for free weekly newsletters with subscriber-only content. BonjourParis has been a leading online France travel and French lifestyle site since 1995.   Top 100 France-themed books & more: Readers’ Favorites.   Update your library with these selections….click on image for details.                 Thank you for using our link to…your purchases support our free site.
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