Entrepreneur Stories · Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Mamzells: No Small Potatoes

Audrey Bouliane's Story

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Mamzells is reinventing the way potatoes are marketed. Smaller bags, trendy flavours and easy preparation for busy weeknights. Nothing’s stopping this division of the Québec Parmentier group.

Mamzells come in 1.5 - 5 lb. bags, perfect for consumers' busy lives. They don't take long to cook, you don't need to peel them, and they're ready for frying, roasting, microwaving or pureeing. They also come in three natural flavours: buttery, nutty and flowery. "We've reinvented the potato to make it a trendy product," says Audrey Boulianne, agronomist and manager of innovation for Québec Parmentier.

Strength in numbers

The company, named after the famous soup, is a group of 25 families of seed and table potato producers and processors, whose operations range from storage to packaging to marketing. The group, which has created its own value chain, isn't a broker and markets 115 million pounds of potatoes--97% of its members' production.

The idea for Mamzells was born of a market reality: for the past 20 years, there had been a 2%-per-year loss in potato sales. Popular weight-loss methods like Montignac definitely hadn't helped. "The business turned to innovation," says Boulianne. Québec Parmentier's R&D budget makes up 23% of the company's sales. She adds that there's strength in numbers, because none of the member businesses alone would have been able to allocate sufficient resources to R&D.

Read the complete article on Desjardins’ website


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