Getting to know more about French dairy with Marie Laure Martin

Getting to know more about French dairy with Marie Laure Martin

Marie-Laure Martin, the International Communication Director from the French dairy board – CNIEL

Marie Laure Martin, international communication director of French Dairy Board – CNIEL, believes sweet dreams are made of cream, specifically French cream. 

What can you tell us about the Cream of Europe French cream campaign?

Our primary goal is to strengthen the presence of European cream, notably French cream, in the UAE and Saudi Arabia. By engaging chefs, home bakers and food influencers, we employ diverse activations to raise awareness on the cream. Furthermore, we showcase its distinctive qualities, like naturalness and versatility. Additionally, we create exclusive events to establish French cream as a premium ingredient, crucial in various dishes, both sweet and savory.

How are your campaigns empowering chefs in the MENA region?

Firstly, we empower chefs through education and training, with the support of recognized chefs. They are familiar with French products and the best ways to use them to highlight their key attributes. Furthermore, we conduct a series of activities, such as workshops, dinners and press trips. Our goal is to train and educate them on French cream by highlighting the product’s high quality and the benefits it can bring to dishes.

What have you achieved through these campaigns and what are your future plans?

We recently organized two afternoon tea events in Riyadh and Jeddah with the renowned French chef Tom Coll from the Burj Al Arab. He presented four pastries to highlight the theme “Cream in all its Glory,” with each creation showcasing a a cream state, whether whipped, liquid, soft peaks or frothed, captivating foodies and food influencers. Furthermore, chef Coll emphasized the importance of using high-quality French cream to his audience.

Looking ahead, we have an experience coming up in Dubai with food influencers. The event will spotlight cream through diverse interactive workshops and masterclasses, featuring renowned chefs, including chef Carmen at Brix Café. The main theme of this immersive experience will be the magic that dairy cream can bring, so it will showcase the way cream can enhance flavors. Additionally, it will highlight how cream can be transformed into various states.

What can you tell us about the availability of French cream products in the MENA region?

French cream products are available in stores across the MENA region. Furthermore, they are available in most stores in the UAE, including Spinneys, Carrefour, Lulu and Choitrams, among others. As for KSA, you can find them in Panda, Tamimi, Oitham, Lulu and Carrefour. And, of course, they are distributed through the HORECA channel in the region.

What differentiates French cream products from others in the market?

France has a dairy heritage unlike any other in the world. Moreover, several factors differentiate French dairy from other parts globally. One of the main reasons is France’s vast agricultural spaces and pastures. Notably, the climate in Europe, where the cattle are raised, significantly impacts the pastures. Therefore, climate change affects the composition and flavor of the milk produced. Furthermore, it is crucial to dairy farmers that the animals are content, so they are mainly fed grass and well cared for.

In addition to the green pastures and moist climate, French dairy adheres to stringent manufacturing and health and safety procedures. Notably, this adherence further impacts the overall quality and freshness of the dairy produced. Finally, French dairy cream is versatile and can be used in sweet and savory, as whipped or infused, hot or cold. Moreover, it is the first choice of chefs worldwide as French dairy is globally recognized as being of high quality.

What are the latest trends and emerging uses of dairy creams?

Infused cream is the latest craze. Capable of blending seamlessly with a variety of ingredients, French cream is high in fat (at least 30 percent by French law). It naturally elevates and enhances the flavor of accompanying ingredients, be it spices, flowers or herbs.

As a result of the pandemic, the world experienced a dairy shortage. Where do we currently stand in terms of dairy supplies?

The Covid-19 crisis has had an impact on dairy processing, with the closure of many factories. However, numerous support measures were enforced to assist French dairy producers during this period. Consequently, the impact of the Covid crisis on French dairy exports to the MENA region has subsided, and we’ve returned to pre-Covid-19 levels.

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About author

Rita Ghantous

Rita Ghantous is a hospitality aficionado and a passionate writer with over 9 years’ experience in journalism and 5 years experience in the hospitality sector. Her passion for the performance arts and writing, started early. At 10 years old she was praised for her solo performance of the Beatles song “All My Love” accompanied by a guitarist, and was approached by a French talent scout during her school play. However, her love for writing was stronger. Fresh out of school, she became a freelance journalist for Noun Magazine and was awarded the Silver Award Cup for Outstanding Poetry, by The International Library of Poetry (Washington DC). She studied Business Management and earned a Masters degree from Saint Joseph University (USJ), her thesis was published in the Proche-Orient, Études en Management book. She then pursued a career in the hospitality industry but didn’t give up writing, that is why she launched the Four Points by Sheraton Le Verdun Newsletter. Her love for the industry and journalism led her to Hospitality Services - the organizers of the HORECA trade show in Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Jordan, as well as Salon Du Chocolat, Beirut Cooking Festival, Whisky Live and other regional shows. She is currently the Publications Executive of Hospitality News Middle East, Taste & Flavors and Lebanon Traveler. It is with ultimate devotion for her magazines that she demonstrates her hospitality savoir-faire.

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