Amazon woos French at farmers’ markets in ‘Project ratatouille’

Amazon is attending farmers’ markets and spending more on TV ads in a bid to woo local consumers and suppliers in a campaign codenamed “Project Ratatouille”. 

The e-commerce giant attended a Paris farming fair for the first time in March to show off its work with local suppliers. In 2021 it opened an online store of products made in France as part of its mission to appeal to locals.

The public relations drive, now in its third year, has been named after the Disney film Ratatouille, which features a Parisian rat who wants to become a chef, later befriending a young cook to whip up the famous Provençal vegetable stew.

Bloomberg reported that the tech company’s marketers were “Frenchifying” Amazon with several initiatives, including paying for a study that suggested eight in ten staff would recommend working for the firm. 

Another piece of research, paid for by Amazon and carried out by Roland Berger, found that 84pc of local shop owners in northeastern France said opening one of the firm’s warehouses near them had a neutral impact on their business. 

The firm has launched a series of television ads to entice more customers to shop there. Its Prime Video streaming service also secured broadcasting rights to Ligue 1, France’s top football division, in 2021.

The “Ratatouille” campaign was partly inspired by McDonald’s efforts in the 1990s to improve its image in France by localising its menu with products such as the McBaguette.

Amazon launched its online store in France in 2000, where it now has 20,000 employees. 

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