1853: The beginning of a great story!
Everything started in France, at Douarnenez in Brittany. This small port has always been known for sardine fishing. While the men went out to sea, the women prepared the fish.
It is here that Robert Chancerelle (founder of the "sardine press" cannery), quickly realised the benefits to sterilisation (invented in 1795 by Nicolas Appert) and decided to open the first cannery which was known as a "friture" in France at the time. The Chancerelle cannery, the Connétable brand's parent company, came into existence.
Even today, this region is considered as the historic birthplace of French fish canneries.
From the 1860's onwards: Accross the Atlantic!
The Civil War was raging in the United States and the soldiers needed feeding. At the time there were no canneries or very few of them on the spot. Thanks to the sterilisation process, canned sardines kept very well and could be transported easily.
This was the beginning of the export trade.
With the Western rush following the war, the United States offered unlimited opportunities. The demand for canned sardines increased and our tins of sardines in olive oil became very popular on the other side of the Atlantic.
1867: Quality already recognised!
Quality and insistence on the best product have always shaped the cannery's evolution.
Women with deft hands prepared the freshly landed fish with precision. This practically "hand-made" quality, which is still important to the company today, contributed greatly to the quality of our canned fish.
That year, the cannery won the Silver Medal at the Paris World Fair.
1957: Launch of the Connétable's red tin
Connétable launched the famous red tin, which was to become the company's icon.
Although the design has evolved over the years, this truly iconic red tin of whole sardines in extra virgin olive oil is still the brand's flagship product today.
1992: A vintage per year!
Launch of vintage sardines!
These sardines, which are prepared and tinned by hand, are conditioned for 12 months before being sold.
An essential year of ageing for the alchemy between fish and extra virgin olive oil allowing you to taste all the flavours.
These carefully selected sardines are fished at the best period in the season, packed "au blanc" (belly up, a mark of the finest sardines) and covered with extra virgin olive oil of the highest quality. The tins are embellished with paintings evoking scenes of sardine fishing in Douarnenez, Brittany, France, and are only sold in limited quantities.
They are the quintessence of Connétable quality.
From 2002 onwards: as close as possible to ressources
Sardines are migratory fish whose migration pattern is still somewhat of a mystery.
They sometimes appear in certain areas in great numbers, and then disappear for several years only to reappear in other waters such as in the Mediterranean (shortage of fish in the Bay of Douarnenez 1880-1886, 1902-1913...).
To ensure that we are always as close as possible to our resources and to continue guaranteeing the best quality of fish, the cannery started investing in new canneries in France, as well as in Morocco.
2004: Launch of the first Label Rouge sardines.
In the French market, this label represents the best flavour quality a product can aspire to.
Did you know? The Label Rouge meets specifications specific to each species, and is a guarantor of traditional fishing and production techniques, irreproachable quality, and total traceability, with the name of the boat and the fishing date displayed on the tins.
Today, the range has expanded and you will find different varieties of sardine, tuna and mackerel with the Label Rouge stamp.
2008: The first MSC range in France!
Did you know? The MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) is an international non-profit organisation, which contributes to the protection and responsible management of the sea's resources through its label.
Connétable strongly approved of this approach and thus launched the first range of MSC canned fish by sourcing from fisheries with this label. We have since produced a range of varieties, which guarantee oceans are better protected and can be recognised by the small blue fish on the tin.
2013: Connétable, the leading French brand for whole sardines!
This is still the case today with more than 39% of the market share in France*.
* IRI MAT P1 2019.
2014: A charter to formalise a forever commitment
The quality of our products and respect for the world's oceans and for people has shaped our development from the beginning.
In 2014, we formalised our commitment by signing a charter that defines best practices to preserve marine resources, promote sustainable fishing, respect the environment, monitor the quality of products, ensure optimal safety, ensure rigorous traceability, maintain the product's nutritional qualities and upkeep a civic role.
2015: Listening to our consumers, the key to our success!
Consumption habits are changing and expectations are developing too. When searching for healthy and varied products, our consumers want products that are good for them and good for their health. Well, the benefits of sardines are well established. They are rich in Omega3, calcium, phosphorus and vitamin D, and contribute to your body functions.
With this in mind, Connétable launched a real combination of benefits in the purest state with natural sardines and another version with a slice of lemon, for an even fresher taste.
2019: Eat well and better, a strong commitment!
Connétable is launching a full range of 11 MSC 100% sustainably fished varieties using organic ingredients.
They are real assets when it comes to eating healthily (rich in calcium, omega 3, vitamins, proteins, etc.) and responsibly on a daily basis (MSC, organic)!
Already present across many countries, Connétable continues their internationalisation by launching their first range entirely for the American market.