What Is The European Taste Experience?
Orchestrated by The French Food and Drink Federation (ANIA), and funded in part by the European Union, the European Taste Experience Campaign was set up to create awareness for the variety of European products available on the U.S. market and to suggest ways that American consumers can incorporate those into their diets, recipes and lifestyles.
The campaign’s goal is to increase the appeal of European products and strengthen their competitive position on the market through various marketing actions. From 2018 to 2020, the campaign will include tastings in stores, BtoB forums and tastings where professionals will be able to discover new products, delegations of French companies traveling to the US to showcase their products and discovery boxes prepared for the press.
The European Taste Experience campaign will also be present on social media: follow the hashtag #EuropeanTaste on twitter to get insights, facts and news about the campaign!
Have you ever stumbled upon a European product at a fancy market or a deli and wondered if they were really from there? There are ways to find out. Namely, quality labels that are delivered to companies following specific recipes, using traditional means of production, or simply using the right means in the right place to make the right product. Although some products are deemed Camembert-like or Côtes-du-Rhône-type, not all of them can truly boast their European origin.
The following labels are a way to determine if a product was made in Europe following traditional recipes- or not. Food products are eligible for all three labels: PDO, PGI and TSG. Wine is eligible for PDO and PGI seals only, while spirit drinks and aromatic wines solely qualify for PGI recognition.
PDO – Protected Designation of Origin
Previously known under various, country-specific labels (AOC in France, DO in Italy & Spain), the PDO label was created in 1992 by the European Union to replace all pre-existing labels. Its goal is both to highlight the quality of a food product that was made following a well-established technique within the same geographical area, and to prevent companies that do not follow these guidelines from using the same name to sell their products. More specifically, the PDO label promises that the product’s quality or characteristics depend essentially on the particular geographic area where it is produced. As an exemple, a Bordeaux wine is produced exclusively in the Bordeaux area, from beginning to end. It gets its final taste both from its terroir (the type of mineral-rich soil where the vines were planted) and from the century-long methods that have traditionally been used in the area to produce wine.
PGI – Protected Geographical Indication
Created at the same time as the PDO label, this close cousin to the PDO is used in similar ways: it highlights the origin of a product and the way it was made as a major, quality-defining element. It is sometimes named after a city (Roquefort) or an entire area (Burgundy) where the product was made. The only difference is that the PGI seal guarantees that one or more production phases were localized in the designated area. A PGI product will be made entirely in the area where its ingredients were sourced, but could also include ingredients coming from a different area. As an example, French PGI Collioure anchovies are prepared in Collioure using traditional methods, but the anchovies might come from a different French area.
TSG – Traditional Specialty Guaranteed
This third label does not limit production to a specific geographic area but highlights the fact that a product was made following recognized, traditional methods, using a limited and recipe-specific list of ingredients. As an example, a Napolitan pizza can be offered in any Italian restaurant outside of Naples, as long as it bears the right ingredients and is baked in a specific type of oven. Only a few products bear this label in Europe at the moment, like Italian mozzarella, Spanish jamón Serrano or French moules de bouchot.
Designed to make organic products easier to identify, this label was created in 2002 with the same purpose: to unify all pre-existing, country-specific organic labels. In the process, the EU ensured that all countries would standardize their organic certifications following the same guidelines. As such, any product bearing a country-specific organic label (such as the French or German ones below) abides by the requirements of the EU certification. When applied directly on a prepackaged food product, the EU organic logo is followed by information about the origin of all raw materials used in the product and the code number of the control authorities.
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Juliette Chauveau – International Affairs Manager
Email: jchauveau (at) ania.net
Phone: +33 (0)1 53 83 92 34