17 October 2022

Success Story: Bernachon Chocolats

Updated: 17 October 2022

The Bernachon family business, founded by Maurice Bernachon in 1953, has been making exceptional chocolate in the heart of the French city Lyon for three generations. Their high quality chocolate has made the family company world-famous and a leader in the world of artisanal chocolate. Like the quality of the chocolate, the core values of the family business are maintained generation after generation: generosity, kindness and tradition are paramount within the company. Staying true to the core values is appreciated, as evidenced by the loyal Bernachon team – the company has several employees who have been loyal to the French brand for over 30 years.

It is now up to the third generation, Françoise (Bocuse) and Jean-Jacques Bernachon's three children, to keep the traditions alive with continued passion for chocolate. Phillipe, Stéphanie and Candice, brought up with these core values and unique knowledge, are succeeding superbly in this. Bernachon's reputation now extends far beyond France, and demand for chocolate continues to grow, even outside Europe. Bernachon has proudly carried the Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant (Living Heritage Company, or EPV) label since 2017 – a mark of recognition from the French state rewarding excellence in traditional skills.

We at Lareka are therefore immensely proud that Bernachon's chocolate bars, all produced according to the bean-to-bar principle, are wrapped using the BTB25 packaging machine. The machine was installed in Lyon nearly two years ago, so it seemed an appropriate time to dedicate the sixth edition of Success Stories to Bernachon.

What is Bernachon's signature chocolate bar? And how is it wrapped?

We have a selection with some 44 different flavours of chocolate bars available all year round. We also introduce several seasonal and other special bars in limited editions every year.

If we had to select one from this wide selection, then it would likely be the ‘Mendiant’. This chocolate bar is the perfect representation of how deep-rooted Bernachon traditions are still greatly appreciated today, despite the changes in time and taste that have taken place. Another contender that is becoming increasingly popular is the ‘Bernachoc bar’, produced with our homemade hazelnut paste and roasted hazelnuts. This bar is typical of Bernachon's revised range.

The packaging of the bars is designed to further sustainability and reduce plastic in packaging. Therefore, the transparent film is made of Bi-OPP (bioplastic), and the banding is made of cardboard. Transparent packaging is extremely important to us because it allows the product to sell itself.

What bar has the most beautiful packaging?

All the bars are wrapped in the same materials, with a similar design. As mentioned in our answer to the previous question, with the transparent packaging, the bar sells itself. Our decision to use transparent packaging stems from the idea that consumers visit the shop to see the chocolate before purchase. By displaying all the bars in elegant sustainable transparent packaging scatter printed with the Bernachon logo, with tasteful minimalist cardboard banding as second layer, we succeed in presenting the tremendous variety of toppings and flavours while using packaging that matches our brand and vision.

All the chocolate bars with toppings are packaged ‘upside down’, with the toppings facing upwards, while bars without toppings are packaged in the ‘usual’ way.

How does Bernachon concern itself with sustainability and sustainable production?

In recent years, sustainability has become a top priority at Bernachon. The younger generations are being given an increasingly prominent role within the company, which has been accompanied by greater focus on sustainability – in production, collaborations and packaging. Sustainability is a key concern in every new project, including our newly renovated Lyon shop and the adjacent restaurant. As for the packaging, it is not only sustainable but also exclusively sourced from local businesses, because we want to do our bit.

What changes has the BTB25 brought about within Bernachon?

The purchase of the BTB25 led to tremendous changes within Bernachon. Firstly, in terms of efficiency, On the one hand, because the packaging machine reduces the problem of attracting and retaining packaging personnel. And on the other, by automating manual packaging, a time-consuming operation that has now become unnecessary, resulting in even greater efficiency improvements. By working more efficiently, more time is available for designing and creating innovative products – innovative both in terms of taste and sustainability. When buying the machine, being able to run it with sustainable materials was therefore a requirement. The machine also allows us to accept large orders more easily.

Inspired by Bernachon's story and want to learn more about this wonderful family business? Click here to learn more about Bernachon's origins, the chocolatier's goals and vision, their wide range of products or to place an order!