energy, transport… The CEO of Picard describes a particularly impacted frozen sector

They are among the products most affected by inflation. Frozen foods (meats, ready meals, vegetables) have experienced significant price increases in recent months. An increase mainly due to energy prices which continue to climb, assures the general delegate of the Cold Logistics Chain, Valérie Lasserre. This observation is shared by professionals in the sector, such as the CEO of Picard Surgelés, Cathy Collart Geiger.

In the show France movesthe manager says that inflation “is around 10%” for her group as a whole, while the whole frozen market “is around 17%”.

A whole production chain affected by inflation

In reality, everything that allows the production and supply of stores increases: raw materials, packaging, transport. Specifically for minced steaks, the price increase “is around 30%” at Picard, against 32.4% at market level. “The animal is fed cereals, which increase to more than 40%. At the slaughterhouse, production, energy, wages have increased. The meat is packaged, and the packaging is more than 40% higher Then, it is transported to the various warehouses or stores, and the transport is impacted by the increase in fuel”, deciphers Cathy Collart Geiger at the microphone of Elisabeth Assayag.

The boss of the French company also adds the energy that the stores need to offer frozen products for sale. “It’s an electricity bill multiplied by three,” she explains. In total, “85% of our energy is devoted to the industrial process which is to make cold. It is not a comfort energy, so it is complicated to erase this additional bill by reducing our energy consumption” , explains Cathy Collart Geiger.

How the group is trying to reduce energy costs

However, the group has been trying for several years to lower its costs. “We are systematically developing good practices to reduce this consumption, but it only represents about 2% per year, when our bill will triple”, laments the manager of Picard Surgelés, who nevertheless underlines a tripled investment for two years “to renew our freezers (less energy-consuming). There are about 4,500 that we renew each year”, insists the CEO.

This year, faced with energy costs, the group has also deployed a budget of two million euros to equip the stores with voltage reducers. “In some of our stores, we noticed that instead of having 220 volts at the socket outlet, we finally had 250 volts. So, it is interesting to send the additional 30 volts back into the network and pay only for the 220 volts” necessary, details the leader in France moves.