Hybrid Gluten-Free and Organic Food Concept in Paris
Edmond is a concept worth a visit. This store, located in one of the busiest commercial areas of the French capital, is a creative mix between a fast food restaurant and a supermarket 100% concentrated on gluten-free and organic food.
Let’s dig into the concept.
Thanks to its elegant blue wooden cladding, the facade stands out from the other stores of the street. The brand signage is both highly visible and appealing. As a new creative concept, Edmond tries to clarify its positioning through a brand statement just under its logo. Unfortunately – and my non-French audience should trust me on that – I think that it is still too vague. That’s the reason why an additional board has been located on the sidewalk to explain it with more details. Edmond is a gluten-free restaurant and an organic supermarket combined.
The store layout
Finding a prime location for a store in Paris is an expensive and difficult journey. And sometimes, you have to make some concessions on the surface or the layout. And this is the case here. The store is awkwardly laid out and divided into two parts. The fist one, where the restaurant is installed, looks like a narrow corridor whereas the second one where the supermarket is sited is much more comfortable.
At the end of the day, the layout doesn’t help the concept to be understood at first glance, right from the entrance. To my mind, the ideal location should make it possible for Edmond to merge the restaurant with the supermarket, like a shop-in-shop model.
Edmond’s design is a combination of noble materials, like wood and stone, and dark colours. In my opinion, the decor is a bit overwhelming and takes over the food offer. On top of that, the food kiosks are quite narrow and not highly visible since they are deeply integrated in the wall.
The marketing positioning
Although only 1% of the population is gluten intolerant, Edmond is adressing the much wider audience of those who know that gluten-free food can be both delicious and easy to digest. Not to mention the powerful gluten-free wave that has hit our Western world and on which Edmond is surfing.
As far as the organic supermarket is concerned, Edmond is showcasing positive and optimistic statements on the walls to immerse the visitors in a positive atmosphere.
In the restaurant, 4 kiosks are available.
The first one is dedicated to gourmet sandwiches that look like panini.
The second one is home of fresh organic juices and gluten free cold sandwiches.
The third one offers fresh steam-baked pasta with home made sauces. This kiosk suffers from a technical extraction issue. Not a big deal but it has to be fixed.
The last one is dedicated to gluten-free “eclairs” (traditional French pastries) that you can customise according to your taste.
At the end of the day, the assortment is pretty rich and creative. However, I found the visual merchandising pretty dull and maybe not good enough to foster impulse buying
The supermarket features 2,5000 items. A quite broad and robust product range that allows customers to build organic (and gluten free in some categories) menus on a daily basis.
Fruits and vegetables as well as bulk cereals visually stand out from the rest.
Edmond showcases a decent range of wines and juices. We can tell that Edmond has been able to deal with a large variety of organic suppliers.
In the restaurant area, menus vary from 10 to 15 euros. A price range in line with the other fast casual and healthy options here in Paris.
If you are only into one sandwich, it will cost you a little bit less than 8 euros when an “eclair” solo is €4.80.
The customer target
Edmond has been smart enough not to target the tiny group of gluten intolerant customers but the much wider audience of people concerned about healthy food options. Gluten-free products and organic ones are there to bring confidence about the way food is made.
The potential of the concept
Edmond has been pioneering the gluten-free fast casual food market in France. The brand has announced that new stores are already in the pipeline. I think that Edmond should target business areas in Paris where the potential appears quite high. However, I do think that Edmond should provide more space and more comfort to customers who decide to eat on the spot.
I am a bit less enthusiastic about the supermarket side of Edmond’s concept. Unless the brand is able to consistently source a wide range of original and tasty products, it will be difficult for Edmond to compete with national operators who are deploying their networks throughout the country.