Anne-Cécile: A Leader Transforming the Food Industry Digitally


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Women today are more willing than ever to serve as change agents in all parts of their lives, including their families, careers, communities, and the larger world. They have started from scratch to taking on leadership roles and making crucial contributions, particularly in the food business. According to Anne-Cécile, Head of Strategy & Marketing at Myfood, the company is revolutionizing the industry by proposing a brand new take on food growing and food distribution. She believes Myfood is giving power back to consumers by providing an alternative way to food production as well as feeding families without disruptions in distribution.

Anne-Cécile’s Journey

AnneCécile pursued a conventional education and earned her degree in 2005 from ESSEC, a prestigious business school in France. She spent three years working for a strategy consulting firm in Paris before joining Philips, a sizable multinational, in Amsterdam. Being reared by a French mother who provided her with wholesome, delectable meals has piqued AnneCécile’s interest in food since childhood. She later got the chance to work at Philips on coffee and kitchen appliances. Anne-Cécile thinks it was more about encouraging people to eat locally, seasonally, and healthily than just about selling them appliances.

After having children, Anne-Cécile felt she wasn’t doing enough, and therefore did more to create the food system of the future and joined Myfood. She deepened the consumer understanding to communicate about Myfood in a more efficient way that allowed the company to grow. It perfectly reflects her values of eating organic, locally grown food that is rich in vitamins and seasonal produce.

A Peek into Myfood

Myfood sells turnkey aquaponic greenhouses with agronomic assistance. It has sold more than 800 greenhouses so far. The concept behind Myfood is to offer an alternative to conventional food systems and agriculture. It also aims to decimate the carbon footprint of the industry as agriculture accounts for 30% of greenhouse gas emissions. For that, it enables families to learn about food autonomy and grow their food at home. With just 22 square meters of space, less than 2 hours of care every week and no experience with food production, Myfood makes sure that clients get the result they want. Each greenhouse produces 400 kg of fresh, pesticide-free, ultra-local fruits and veggies each year with more vitamins and nutrients than what can be found in conventional shops.

Leading from the Front

AnneCécile is in charge of acquiring leads using both digital and non-digital means. She is part of the management team and oversees investor relations and strategy. Under Anne-Cécile’s leadership, Myfood has received a number of awards and recognitions. Some of awards are,

  • Awarded the B Corp label
  • Solar Impulse Efficient Solution Certification
  • Food tech500 2021: Powering the Food & Food Tech revolution
  • Enterprise Generali Cycle Terre: Winner of the Community prize

Unlocking Milestones

In terms of accomplishments, Anne-Cécile has doubled the number of monthly leads since 2020 while reducing the marketing budget, fostering the company’s rapid expansion, and putting it on the road to profitability. Collaborating with her team, AnneCécile took communication to the next level by paying closer attention to the needs of the consumer. Myfood’s positioning became less technologically focused and more benefit-focused.

Anne-Cécile’s second-most significant accomplishment is improving working conditions for all employees in the company, which was previously only directed by men, making it a more egalitarian workplace. Besides additional holidays and greater status, employees earned business stock options.    

Diversity @Myfood

At Myfood, the gender diversity of the customer base is fairly balanced, with perhaps 52% men and 48% women. Typically, clients decide to install a greenhouse as a couple or as a family. The two are not outweighing one another. The company is creating new generations of home farmers by creating teams and families with fresh, healthy values and interests (who will have another job on top of growing their food).

Apart from the clients, Myfood is quite 50/50 within its staff. Also in terms of age, the staff grows from 22 to 55, so it is well spread out. The company is balanced as it hires mostly FTEs, a few freelancers for flexibility and even former refugees. The staff comprises about 20 people and CSR is a big concern.

Take on Going Digital

Myfood’s success has been largely attributed to its development as an internet business. Digital was the cornerstone of the company’s development. It operates online, and 90% of its leads come from its online presence (organic or paid). Anne-Cécile thinks that social networks, followed by SEA and SEO efforts, are crucial for Myfood’s acquisition channels. Utilizing techniques like virtual visits, customer testimonials and tutorials, the company conducts direct sales to its customers. From its French headquarters, it digitally oversees the full sales process and international sales.

Talking about the advantages of online business, Anne-Cécile adds that the company becomes more flexible and less expensive because it operates 100% online and its initial development was also 100% open-source based. By going digital, Myfood can also employ a few people who work full-time remotely from locations other than its headquarters. This makes the company less fragile to crisis, like COVID lock downs. It can operate its whole business online if necessary (only one or 2 employees in the office to ship the greenhouses)

Experience as a Woman Leader

At Philips, the engineering group responsible for creating kitchen appliances was predominately male. It was a significant challenge for her to prove that she could understand the appliance despite not being an engineer or a man. Thanks to her curious nature, Anne-Cécile dived deep into the technical aspects which served her well. She fought for the consumer needs to be listened and met. This was Anne-Cécile’s success mantra.

Before Anne-Cécile arrived, Myfood, like many other food companies, was managed by men. After proving her worth a few months after joining Myfood, Anne-Cécile insisted on joining the management team. Anne-Cécile states, “Three men were cooperating and were concerned about me joining the MT. They now regard me to be their glue and see the value I am bringing every day to Myfood.” Anne-Cécile thinks that the main problem wasn’t her being a woman. The emphasis was primarily on bringing in a fresh face. She joined Myfood as well after observing that the leaders were accepting of her, whether she was a woman.

Guidance and Advice

Anne-Cécile considers her sister to have ethically inspired her and credits her to pushing her (and Anne-Cécile) to a zero-waste lifestyle. In addition, a few close friends changed their diets to vegetarianism, one of the effective ways to reduce carbon footprint. Several “famous” French figures who are combating climate change include Cyril Dion, Claire Nouvian, Jean-Marc Jancovicci, and the Greenletter Club Podcast also influenced Anne-Cécile to a certain degree.

Inspired by these influential characters, Anne-Cécile achieved a remarkable career. Being a woman of influence, when asked for advice to women pursuing a career in the industry, she advises,

  • Stand up for yourself
  • Believe in your value and your ideas
  • Make your feminine skills like understanding, patience, empathy, and care an asset
  • Women are a key to the development and transformation of the industry
  • Team up with men or women, anyone who agrees and moves in the same direction



Also Read : Top 10 Women in the Food Industry, 2023

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