The Swedish Ariane Pehrson founded the company Lyophilise & Co in 2010 in Lorient.
Lyophilize & Co
The Covid-19 health crisis has affected many sectors of the French economy.
presents companies and craftsmen who, despite the confinement and the difficulties linked to the epidemic, have seen their activity grow or even explode.
What will they eat for more than two months alone on their boat?
This is a question that is tormenting the sailors of the Vendée Globe at the moment two weeks before the big start of the race.
The vast majority of them will go shopping at Lyophilise & Co, a company based in Lorient and specializing in the sale of self-sufficient food products.
It is moreover to nourish and bring a little comfort to these sailors that Ariane Pehrson launched her online store ten years ago.
“At the time, the meal offer was really very poor with a lack of variety and a quality that was not always there,” said the Swede, herself a skipper.
Ariane Pehrson has since seen its customer base grow, thanks in particular to the boom in outdoor sports.
The trend was further amplified with the rise of survivalism which prompted new followers to convert to freeze-dried food.
Products that have the advantage of keeping for a very long time and being very light thanks to a cold drying technique for food.
"All the taste and nutritional qualities are also preserved," says Ariane Pehrson.
An order of 15,000 euros for a customer
Since the start of the health crisis, his company has been crumbling under orders which have poured in from all over the world.
“Each time there are tensions or catastrophes in the world, our sales explode,” indicates the manager, who felt the first signs of unrest at the end of December.
There have been a lot of orders for products that can keep for up to 25 years, it was clearly not for hiking but for storage ”.
Globalized containment has further sharpened fears of a food shortage.
Without surfing on these fears, Lyophilise & Co took advantage of it with sales which doubled in February and tripled in March compared to last year.
"The survival packs for three months were particularly torn," says Ariane Pehrson, who also had to manage improbable orders: "For example, a customer came from Dordogne by car and left with 15,000 euros of food and equipment. in his trunk ”.
The need for fresh air has also boosted sales
The peak of the crisis passed, the Breton company did not give up, quite the contrary.
“Every summer, the activity is already strong.
But it was even more so this year because the French needed to get some fresh air and go hiking or in the mountains, ”underlines the business manager, who carefully scrutinizes health developments.
“We thought it would calm down at the start of the school year but not that much in the end.
Orders have also been starting up again in recent weeks and we don't expect things to calm down for several months, ”she says.
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