The French brand C’est Qui le Patron (Who’s the Boss), which allows consumers to set prices for products, is to become a label and begin certifying other branded products.
Launched in 2016, the brand empowers consumers through a brief, voluntary online questionnaire in which they attribute importance to different specifications, notably around the use of genetically modified ingredients, buying local and ensuring producers are properly remunerated. Each specification attributes a different price to their products which cumulatively forms a final price. The brand has enjoyed considerable success becoming the most successful new French brand in thirty years with its products available in major supermarkets nationwide.
The founder, Nicolas Chabanne, launched the brand in response to the horse-meat scandal of 2013 which demonstrated how little producers and consumers knew about products’ supply chains. The fact that it is now becoming a label to certify other brands indicates some success in its mission to change food habits.
Is the expansion of this brand a sign that consumers are expecting greater transparency? Does the brand’s emphasis on producers also reflect growing concern about the livelihoods of local producers and localised food systems? Moreover, could the crowd-sourcing approach represent a new means of democratising consumption so that consumers voluntarily take on added costs for sustainable products?