At the origin of the Black Supermarket, there is a simple insight.It’s the growing concern of consumers about food quality, their awareness that large corporations like Monsanto have a terrible impact on what is on our plate for reasons of financial interest only, and their willingness to rebel.
This is their story…
80% of French people are more concerned than ever about food safety. 79% even consider it likely that food will harm their health (Kantar Worldpanel 2018). Consumers realise that even fruits and vegetables, which are supposed to be the healthiest part of our diet, are desecrated by large companies like Monsanto.
As a consequence, behaviours are changing: consumers are increasingly mobilizing against these large corporations to force them to change. They put petitions online, they boycott brands working with Monsanto. It’s the spirit of rebellion on which we based our creative idea.
This case study shows how in changing the law, the Black Supermarket changed Carrefour, one of the biggest global retailers.
In Europe, people have access to only 3% of existing cereals, vegetables, and fruits. The other 97% are illegal. Why?
Because an absurd European law forbids all farmers’ varieties, the ancestral varieties of our grand-parents. Only hybrid, pesticide-resistant seeds – patented by the agro-chemical industry – are authorised.
It has been the law in Europe since 1981. As a result, 90% of farmable varieties have already disappeared worldwide since the 20th century.
Carrefour, a long-time defender of better food quality, decided to use its leadership power to make a change.
To change the law, Carrefour defied the law and launched The Black Supermarket.
Illegal Black Supermarkets were created in Carrefour’s stores nationally to sell a unique range of illegal varieties of cereals, vegetables, and fruits.
We asked people to join the cause by buying our illegal range in our stores and by signing our petition on change.org. While our print, outdoor, films and in-store Black Supermarket installations revealed the absurdity of the law, and turned our illegal producers into national heroes.
The Black Supermarket generated a national debate. Every major TV evening news, radio show, newspaper covered the campaign. And important public figures – such as prominent chefs, journalists, even farmers’ syndicates – joined our fight, generating 377million media impressions.
The Public was baffled to discover this absurd law, bought the illegal goods en masse (our maximum of 153 tons), driving in-store traffic by 15%, and signed our petition (83,000 signatures).Thanks to Carrefour’s lobbying power and to the public support generated by the campaign, the law finally changed for the benefit of 500 million Europeans.
On April 19th 2018, the EU ratified new regulation on organic agriculture reauthorising sale and cultivation of farmers’ seeds after 40 years of prohibition.
A political tour de force, that triggered a fundamental transformation of the brand’s image (+8pt brand love), made it the #1 favorite retail brand in France, and accelerated the transformation of its international business strategy.
All of this while creating a whole new, always sold-out, range of high-quality produces, unprecedented in the industry.
Link to film: https://spaces.hightail.com/receive/xCVK43hhvc
MARKETING magazine is the Official Cannes Lions Festival Representative for Malaysia.