Cafés Legal: a young French company that is nearly 170 years old!
Cafés Legal is a French-owned family business that was established in 1851. It is France’s leading independent producer, with a 10% share by volume of the roasted and packaged coffee market. The business employs over 170 people and is based in Le Havre, France’s leading port for coffee imports. Legal has long been at the forefront in the world of coffee.
Legal’s dynamism is founded on a strategic vision built around innovation and the modernisation of its manufacturing facilities. It has made substantial investments to boost R&D, increase production capacity, enhance its industrial infrastructure, and develop innovative products. A new Nespresso-compatible capsule is for instance being produced with plant-based materials, and is biodegradable and compostable. This plastic- and aluminium-free capsule is at the cutting edge of global innovation.
A long-established supplier to retailers, Café Legal is a key part of France’s heritage. The brand is cherished by millions of households and can be found in all types of retail outlets. In a growing market with evolving consumption patterns, the company has always found a way of adapting and innovating by positioning itself on capsules, flexible pods, as well as organic and single-origin coffees. It now provides a very wide range of products that are much appreciated by consumers and clients in France and overseas.
Legal’s aim is to keep growing, strengthening its position as a major flagship brand for coffee made in France, delivering taste, pleasure and consumer appeal.
In order to differentiate itself and to fully play its role, the family business has naturally taken the environmental path, while drawing on its core values, in particular quality, proximity, innovation, a sophisticated tradition of taste and the best of the French way of life.
Legal’s six core values
As a business, Legal is guided by core values that are at the heart of its identity, its fundamental purpose, and its mission, namely to provide consumers with coffees that satisfy the greatest expectations and demands in terms of taste, flavour, pleasure and appeal.
The six values that drive and characterise the teams are:
The matrix of actions deployed daily for the benefit of consumers and retailers, the passion to always go higher and further, the desire to fully meet the expectations of consumers and clients.
‘Made in Legal’ means a commitment to the highest standards of excellence and quality regarding products and all of the activity’s value chain; logistical traceability guarantees the indispensable food safety traceability.
Product innovations are the principal drivers of our company’s development. More than 30 new products have been launched in recent years which has helped the Legal brand move upmarket.
Agility, flexibility, the desire to meet and exceed targets, the quest for excellence, tireless efforts, being focused on the fundamentals, and always demanding more from oneself: these are all naturally at the heart of our actions.
Respect for the environment
Legal is a civic-minded company that respects the environment at all stages of manufacturing and that develops products that are kind to the planet such as the very first capsule made with plant-based materials. It is biodegradable and compostable, containing neither plastic nor aluminium.
Being open-minded and accessible, attentive to the needs of others, modest, and prepared to listen: these characteristics are essential in order to keep raising the bar when meeting the expectations of the market, anticipating the evolutions and mutations tomorrow will bring, and developing real partnerships with retail.
Made in Legal: a seal of unimpeachable quality
An insistence on quality underpins the policies implemented by Legal to deliver the highest standards in excellence. This translates for instance into highly specialised operational set-ups for the control, analysis and traceability of products (which are delivered by the Central Laboratory, the Chemistry Laboratory, and a team of experts) as well as product traceability.
The laboratory is run by the Director of Quality. All of its functions are centralised in the Bléville factory. A team of professionals carries out painstaking work involving checks, measurements and analysis on the pre-validation and green coffee transformation process, up until the tasting of the final product. This central laboratory, equipped with specific tools to satisfy the demands of consumers, meets HACCP norms.
The chemistry laboratory is tasked with checking caffeine levels in accordance with current rules and verifying the complete compliance of green coffees.
The Quality team is constantly preoccupied with the quality of the coffee produced in our factories. The creation of blends, establishing for each variety all of the components of the taste chain, is the key step before and after roasting. This is what guarantees a coffee with a consistent taste. The art of blending, the subtle dosing of different varieties, is a highly-specialised job. Every day, before, during, and after roasting, these experts test, taste, and compare coffees so they can offer the finest creations in the world.
Perfect product traceability
Computerised monitoring of the supply chain optimises transport from the factory to retailers. It also enables full traceability of the coffee, from its manufacture to its arrival on store shelves. This monitoring means that any product can be immediately recalled. In today’s world, logistical traceability guarantees food safety traceability.
Legal, a civic-minded and environmentally-friendly business
Legal, a family business, is above all a people-centric business, primarily concerned with the consumers for whom it seeks to make the best coffees in the world.
Sustainable development and fair trade being at the heart of its initiatives, it is also a civic-minded company that respects the environment at all stages of manufacture and that develops planet-friendly products such as the plant-based capsule that was recently launched.
This plant-based capsule is biobased, biodegradable, compostable, and contains neither plastic nor aluminium. When making a cup of coffee, ten times more packaging is normally used with a capsule as compared to a traditional packet of coffee. Hence the attraction of being able to offer an individual capsule that has no impact on global warming. Legal devoted three years of R&D to developing this innovative (Nespresso compatible) product.
This ecological and environmental DNA also means Legal can challenge multinationals and giant businesses in the sector; it sets it apart and allows it to stand out even more in the face of the major groups. This is a genuine, deliberate and proactive approach that is very much part of its fundamental purpose.
Innovation at the heart of the strategy
Product innovation is the major development strand of Legal as a business.
Over 50 completely new products have been launched in the past few years, including the brand new Nespresso-compatible capsule, made with plant-based materials, which is biodegradable and compostable. Containing neither plastic nor aluminium, this ‘world first’ is currently conquering the market.
Thanks to this assertive innovation policy, Legal is now well-positioned on all types of coffee, beans and ground, classical arabicas, espressos, pure origin coffee and of course single-serve pods, a segment where Legal is growing.
Management and leadership
Legal is enriched by the variety of staff backgrounds, experiences and professional trajectories. Sharing a vision and the same values, these different but complementary talents form a coherent and cohesive team. Its commitment to satisfying the needs and expectations of customers and clients aims to be second to none. Their collective ambition is to make of Legal the benchmark company in the sector, the one that inspires, sets the tone and keeps raising the bar for the most demanding quality and excellence standards. Essentially, the business that flies the flag for French flair in the coffee world.