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Portrait Jean Caby

Story of our brand

Jean Caby, a visionary man

It all starts in 1919 with the CHARCUTERIE CABY, rue Colbert, in Lille in the north of France…  a small butcher’s shop, close to the slaughter house whose owner, Jean CABY, is going to transform into a fabulous industrial adventure

In 1920, he launches small-sized pre-packed meat portions which he sells at the fixed price of “2 sous” (old French currency, 2 euros approx.). Jean Caby is the first to create this “self-service” format which still exists in our supermarkets nowadays.

In 1924, the HOGPORC brand (a pig crossing a hoop) is registered.

In 1929, the company expands : Jean Caby builds the plant in Saint André (Lille suburbs).

In 1932, the production of dry sausages begins and 2 years later, the HOGPORC brand is extended to include hams, sausages, cured meats and canned meats.

Jean Caby, always in tune with his environment

At that time, cold chain does not exist, neither fresh meat, nor charcuterie… There are only dried or canned products.

When the darkest times of the war arrives, many employees must leave the company as some parts of the buildings are destroyed by the bombings. The company can only start again in 1945. Jean Caby then decides to focus on productivity : he invests in new technology to renew the industry.

The CABY company is the first to have a fully automated pig slaughter line in 1947 with 200 pigs per hour!

charcuterie caby en 1919
Lille, CHARCUTERIE CABY rue Colbert in 1919

From a small butcher’s shop to a prosperous industry.

Always visionary and innovative, Jean CABY is the first in Europe to produce vacuum packed products in 1951. A small revolution which finally makes it possible to offer fresh products and to take charcuterie away from the world of tin cans.
He also aspires to export his range  : he creates a company in Tournay, in Belgium, and signs his first contract with the Reunion Island.

However, the “HOGPORC” brand is difficult to market abroad. It is time to modernize it…
Why not give his own name to the brand ?
And so the CABY brand appears for the first time in 1952, (still with the pig logo) specializing in cooked hams, Frankfurters, pâté and cooked sausages.

In 1955, the Saint-André plant breaks the European record for slaughtering : 350 pigs per hour !

His whole life long, Jean Caby will keep on developing, innovating and investing, building a prosperous industry.

In 1966, the founding father dies. However: his son Léopold takes over the business. The family saga continues…

Anciens logos Jean Caby
Saucisses roulées

Jean Caby, bon appétit !

In 1968, Caby merges with OLIDA, a well-known brand but in poor financial shape. Unfortunately, the merge is not successful. The company becomes a big industry but without soul.

When Pierre BRIET, son-in-law of Léopold, decides to buy the company back with a group of managers in 1984, the company becomes individual again and restart its growth.

In 1986, the “Saucisse cocktail” takes off. This product, released in the 70’s, on the return from a trip to the United States, will be the flagship product of the company and make the Jean Caby brand famous.

In 1988, the Caby brand becomes Jean-Caby with the founder’s profile on the logo. The company increases its production, adapts to the development of private labels and decides to seek international growth, but in different forms: a ham is not the same in France, Spain or Germany, where consumers prefer rindless ham with smaller slices, for example. Its exports achieve 25% of its turnover in 45 countries.

In 1988, the “Croc’sec” are launched. These mini dried sausages are also made for the aperitif market. Their innovative format is very successful.

“Jean Caby, Bon Appétit!” proudly proclaims the brand for its first advertising campaign in 1989.

Évolution of the logo

For years, the brand will prosper and become the star of the aperitif market thanks to its famous Cocktail sausages.
But the industrial tool is aging… It requires a lot of investments.

Over the next twenty years, the company will experience ups and downs and multiple takeovers, until the shutdown of the business in 2018.

The brand “Jean Caby” is finally acquired by the French cooperative Cooperl, in 2019. The product range is reworked with the objective to stick to the essence of the brand (tasty, convenient and affordable products) but also to give it a new impetus as an international dimension.

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