Stephanie Perrot: A Dynamic Leader spearheading Change in the Food Industry

Stephanie Perrot

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Food has been a core interest for people and after the pandemic, it has become a proper exercise of their citizenship in the marketplace. As this awakened people’s consciousness toward their food, for fair and sustainable ingredients and food offers, the food industry had to refocus. In this scenario, where the way of consumption is changing and impacting industry production, only the companies willing to change will survive. Instrumental indeed, women are part of this change and they have offered a different posture, a new voice of trust to normalize that situation. Conquering the difficult road to success, Stephanie Perrot is disrupting the food industry with her fearless approach.

Admirable Journey

It would be honest to say that my studies were not supposed to take me into this industry,” says Stephanie. She briefs about her family background and passion for the food sector. Being a French national, food and wine have been a religion in her family. And thus, she shares this fondness from a very young age. Moreover, Stephanie was impassioned about the interaction with the Asia-Pacific region, its history, and its culture in general. She was especially curious about the changes China was facing in the 2000s. Forwarding her passion into a career, Stephanie graduated with two master’s degrees—Asian affairs and Country Risk management (as part of her curriculum in Sciences Po in France).

I moved to Asia, and that is when I had a great opportunity to get close to the place that has always made me dream: kitchens,” explains Stephanie. Exploring kitchen-related aspects, she discovered the behind-the-scenes of gastronomy, and with that knowledge, she worked closely with professionals from the HORECA world. She has also worked with F&B professionals in Asia and Europe as well as supported them in their challenges with ultra-premium products and ingredients. Stephanie has worked for a decade with Valrhona and developing her expertise in chocolate couverture and international business. Strong of that experience at Valrhona, she has wished to support the launch of a new voice on the market. She has successfully introduced a new disruptive actor on the cacao scene, Xoco Gourmet “by sharing a new vision: the culture of cacao based on its variety.” She has decided to refocus on true points of concern for her which are sustainability and nutrition with Plankton First. Further, she wishes to utilize these skills as a multidimensional solution for one of the challenges—nutrition in its larger spectrum.

Carrying the Legacy

Stephanie has achieved remarkable success in her life and she gives this credit to her parents—great teachers and the epitome of success. “Risking being a proper cliché, I would say my parents,” says Stephanie and adds that they have always shown the love of food and its representatives, as well as the will to be curious and to learn more. Moreover, she has met numerous inspiring professionals who were leading by values like dedication, passion, and excellence; these values are important and core to Stephanie.

According to Stephanie, all of these individuals taught her a lesson that she has an excellent chance to work in an industry of passion. Additionally, when it comes to distinctive services, Stephanie and the team are pouring their efforts to give people the chance to live unique experiences through their contacts and time. “We are platforms for others to express their gifts and to touch people in the outmost intimate way that is through food, taste, and bringing people together,” says Stephanie in gratitude.

Smart Consumers, Smart Solutions

Consumers today ask for sustainable, traceable, and transparent value chains. Moreover, they no longer decide to buy a product or a solution based on aesthetically attractive packaging. Instead, they fact-check it and will challenge companies whether these companies and products are historic ones or not. Catering to the need of the hour, Stephanie wants to respond to the world reality: We have a growing and aging population that will need new forms of protein intake, proposing alternatives to agricultural intensive culture. Plankton First was established with a mission to research, develop, and produce microalgae and microalgae-derived high-value functional ingredients that offer new nutritional paths as well as improve public health and prevent diseases.

Alternatively known as the food of the future, microalgae is a great solution to current challenges faced by societies. Plankton First is set to provide solutions not only in terms of health benefits but being fully sustainable. The company assures that this autotrophic and renewable solution will surely help consumers. It offers a panel of products with zero carbon impact, answering to the stakes that the world is facing.

A Versatile Leader

Being at the helm, Stephanie develops and oversees the sales and marketing strategy of the company. Keeping a constant 360-degree vision, she ensures that all decisions taken need to be assessed before being taken as they might have heavy and long-term consequences on the company as well as its ecosystem.

For her relentless efforts, Stephanie has been rewarded with various positive comments. “One of my personal KPI and achievements is based on transmitting my expertise to my customers and seeing them taking ownership of it,” says Stephanie proudly. She further adds that for the industry to change, leaders must educate and share knowledge with the members in the industry.

To educate the members in the industry, especially chefs, who always want to be at the top of their game, it is very essential to give them an understanding of the value chain and its reality. Additionally, this will demonstrate the real impact the chefs have on their environment.

Online Marketing – Fundamental Stream for Success

As companies are facing a central challenge to efficiently engage with their customer base, digital marketing is a fundamental way to solve this crisis. According to Stephanie, companies need to be flexible and innovative and test for new methods as well as new tone of voice. Currently, numerous platforms try to touch potential buyers and this might overwhelm professionals. The solution in Stephanie’s opinion is to prioritize communication and ensure the right channel to have the best contact.

Change in Motion

Though the food industry is a forte for most women, misogynistic behaviors can be seen where women are misjudged and misconsidered due to their gender. These also include rejecting women due to pregnancy, neglecting their opinions at the negotiation table, or hiring them just for the ‘WOW effect’. According to Stephanie, the #metoo moment is in process. However, being in the hospitality industry, people have learned to deal with these issues internally; without doing public buzz around these topics. Instead, people do express themselves more nowadays, and mostly they are more listened to. “Women are getting more exposure in the media, on executive boards, in kitchens offering us a great channel to legitimize this new situation,” concludes Stephanie.

Words of Wisdom

  1. Be who you are, be genuine.
  2. Listen to others.
  3. Work harder than anyone.
  4. Embrace having people with strong expertise that will challenge and nourish your decisions.
  5. Never let anyone tell you that you cannot do something because of your gender.


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Also ReadTop 10 Women in the Food Industry, 2023

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