The baguette at 29 cents, a taste of com’ not necessarily enticing?

Faced with a baguette at 29 cents, is your first instinct to say to yourself “it’s a bargain, I’m buying it” or “it must be awful considering the price”? Leclerc’s whole bet is to hope that baguette lovers will opt for the beautiful “bargain”. By fixing the price of its baguette at less than 0.3 euro for four months and this, in the midst of inflation, the retail giant has drawn the wrath of bakers and millers. Leclerc hopes to seduce customers, but could this very low price not have the opposite effect and put off the French who increasingly rhyme high price and quality?

“How can a price be so low? Is it poor quality? Is it harmful to health? “Questions Marie-Pierre Julien indeed. Asked by 20 minutes, the anthropologist and sociologist specializing in food practices at the University of Lorraine continues: “Since the beginning of the 2000s and the fight against obesity in France, there has been real reflection in all social categories on the link between food and health, and the notion that good health comes from good products. ” Conclusion, it is not because a fridge needs to be filled that it must be filled with any product as long as it is not expensive. Marie-Pierre Julien assures us that the French are now more careful about the content of their plate: all socio-professional categories are aware of the importance of healthy and balanced food and the most precarious are perhaps no longer attracted by the price of the baguette too low.

The price, a determining criterion for the purchase

Faced with such a bargain price, it’s not just Erwin, boho from the 9th arrondissement of Paris who is a fan ofavocado toast, who is going to ask questions about the quality of the “Leclerc baguette”, insists our anthropologist: “Everyone is wondering and is aware. “And can also wonder how much Leclerc cut production costs (salaries, etc.). “It is quite possible that Leclerc manages to make large margins without deteriorating too much the quality of the baguette or to compensate for this promotion with the prices of its other products”, estimates however Fabrice Etilé, professor of food economy and director research at the National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and the Environment.

“It is obvious that this case does not apply to all French people. Of course those who can afford to buy their baguette in the bakery will continue to do so if their income allows them,” adds the economist who recalls a major economic reality: “The first concern of many households is to put something on the plates and the The price remains a determining criterion. »

Above all, it’s the taste

Still, we are in France, a nation of gastronomy and good food [et de Zinédine Zidane, mais ce n’est pas le sujet du jour]. It is therefore high time, as a good patriot who loves flavor and feasts, to talk about one of the most important criteria: taste. Marie-Pierre Julien: “It’s extremely important for the validation of a product and it remains a key consumer experience. He’s not going to buy the wand if he doesn’t find it good. »

Let’s go even further: the crouton lover will not buy the baguette if he finds it less good than the one he has tasted so far. The price does not excuse everything, and even less for a baguette, heritage and everyday product par excellence. In consumer economics, this is called “an experience good”, informs Fabrice Etilé. In other words, the baguette is one of those products that we have eaten a lot and of which we therefore have a very precise idea of ​​the taste. “If the baguette at 29 cents is less good than a more expensive baguette, the consumer will not come back to it. This could therefore tarnish the image of Leclerc ”, even slices the economist.

Leclerc has undoubtedly prepared his cost well

What make Michel-Edouard Leclerc and his descendants tremble over five generations? Probably not, because the supermarket has also mastered the notion of “experience good”, and has no doubt prepared its cost well (do you have it?). Fabrice Etilé prophesies: “The baguette will certainly not be bad, otherwise it would be a catastrophic operation. Leclerc therefore had to make arrangements to preserve the quality of the product as much as possible. »

And if the stick is good, it’s a bonus for Leclerc. Just like the taste, the price of the baguette is anchored in the brain of the consumer [le « bien d’expérience », toujours], who will surely remember a wand as good as the previous ones but cheaper. All the success or failure of this marketing operation would therefore hang on the taste buds of the French. And for food, it’s still the main thing.

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