How Maison la Cornue advertises French buffalo milk

She’s been a workhorse for a long time. A powerful tiller.

Imported from India to Sicily before reaching the Italian peninsula around the 10th century, the buffalo was known at the time for the quality and delicacy of its milk, which is used to make soft and tasty cheese. Mozzarella. Caciocavallo. Provolone. Ricotta… And even butter. So much so that buffalo milk has become an icon of Italian gastronomy.

An emblem that is exported. Especially since over time we are discovering the nutritional properties of this milk, including twice the amount of magnesium and calcium compared to cow’s milk. The cholesterol level is 50% lower, although this milk is richer in fat. Perfect for a crowd interested in eating better while discovering flavors from elsewhere, even if it means paying the price. Raising buffalo is more difficult and less productive.

From Italy to France

A milk with high added value, that’s what attracts some French producers from Cantal and Aveyron. So much so that the first buffaloes were introduced there in 1998 under the direction of a friend of Alain Leon, President of the Savor & Créations company. Company that supplies many delicacies from its Signes factory and has been distinguished by several innovations such as mustard with gold flakes or even Barbapapa syrup, a great commercial success.

My friend told me that you can do amazing things with this milk. And that we had to find a way to counteract the seasonality of this product, since mozzarella is mainly consumed in the summer ‘ explains Alain Leon. ” Winter milk is sold as white milk for less than one euro per liter “.

The idea stuck in the mind of the Var entrepreneur. But there isn’t enough time to take care of it. Until the day he decides to sell shares in his company.

An ice cream with no added fat

The chance to realize his idea: not to offer just another buffalo cheese, but ice cream that can be produced all year round, although its consumption is seasonal.

An ice cream without added fat – that of milk is enough in itself – and embellished with quality ingredients: hazelnuts from Piedmont, grapes from Gers soaked in rum and other lemons from Sicily… All processed in a new production tool, in Signes, where who has surrounded the entrepreneur with a Parisian partner, benefiting from the support of the ice cream master Philippe Faur in the development of recipes.

On the milk supply side, the entrepreneur has chosen to invest in his Aveyron breeder friend’s herd and buys his winter milk from him without negotiating the price. In return, he enjoys priority over the quantities produced.

The bet of large distribution

Even though ” top of the line “ the company with 6 employees relies on the large distribution. A large retailer striving to diversify its offering by adding more quality products and flying the blue-white-red flag.

Nevertheless, a second brand – Maison Simone – was created for Alain Leon’s historical customers: delicatessens and restaurants. ” We offer you a larger selection and smaller volumes “. With one difficulty: the fewest devices in freezers, which the company is gradually fixing.

Launched in July 2021, the marketing will gain momentum in 2022, driven by greater media exposure. Especially at the Cannes Festival, where actress Eva Longoria celebrates the qualities of ice cream.

To date, Maison La Cornue ice cream and sorbets are sold in 200 Carrefour, Leclerc and Intermarché stores. “ We are expecting sales of between 800,000 and 1 million euros this year “. With a target of 3 million euros by 2025.

Convince the public

In order to achieve this, several challenges must be overcome, including the difficulty of hiring in the industry and especially in the food industry.

But also ” the lack of recognition and legitimacy of buffalo milk. People have the impression that we offer mozzarella ice cream.” It remains, then, to whet the appetite of the confused thanks to a series of increasingly appetizing ice creams to which other products such as macaroons should gradually be added. Proof that the buffalo has not yet surprised our taste buds.