Behind the scenes of private-label jams

by | Art of Confiture

20

June 2018

The impetus for a new product can spring from a sweet tooth, a childhood memory, a word or simply a desire for something new. For Andrésy, nothing is impossible! It turns all of its customers’ whims into unusual, unique, tasty recipes. Behind the scenes of private-label jams.

“The way we work is not unlike designer fashion, since 80% of our products are made to measure,” explains Gérard Cassan, who was at the head of Andrésy Confitures for 30 years before handing the reins to his three children. “Even more important than our expertise is the determination to never say ‘no’ to our customers.”»

At Andrésy, producing unique recipes is in the company culture. Everyone has a part to play, from Sales to Purchasing, Quality, Export, Production, Scheduling and Delivery. At the heart of this well-oiled machine, Research and Development (R&D) creates and makes each recipe before it goes on to become a classic. Julia Cassan leads the R&D, Product Quality Control and Purchasing teams.

Bespoke jams: a privilege all Andrésy customers enjoy

Corporate accounts, distributor brands, gourmet grocery shops, garden centres, hotels, chefs and top-end staff canteens, among others. No matter how big or small they are, all Andrésy customers can ask for that special jam they’ve always wanted, or a whole range to match their own products.

Where does a bespoke jam begin? With a fruity taste, a special flavour to bring out and showcase, a childhood memory to bring back to life, a specific theme for an event, or just wanting something new. Some customers want to adapt existing recipes to current trends; others are looking for an innovative product to epitomise French know-how for the export market.

“Our customers are full of ideas. They are the precious input that will fuel our inventiveness and help us constantly hone our finished products,” says Julia Cassan

« We have created and produced over 500 unique recipes »

Private-label jams: when imagination meets expertise

To accurately capture the spirit of the product to be created, you need to really understand what the customer wants and needs. And if this entails recreating a feeling or a taste, we sometimes need to help the customer put their request into clear, specific terms. A sales adviser liaises with the customer throughout the project.

Creating a bespoke jam is a well marked-out process that has to factor in the type of recipe required, the fruit varieties and how they are grown, the ingredients and spices, the packaging and the technical, regulatory and budgetary constraints. Products for export follow a specific process to ensure compliance with the country’s legislation, from the sorting of the fruit through to distribution in the destination country.

The process unfolds in stages. First, Andrésy proposes a range of recipes to the customer, who chooses four. The R&D department then makes up trial samples and the customer chooses the one they want to develop. After various adjustments and tastings, when every aspect is just right (flavour, colour, aroma and texture), we move on to cooking the jam in production-size batches in copper jam pans, to make sure that all of the qualities have been maintained. This is when we know that we have successfully achieved what the customer wanted.

One of Andrésy’s most remarkable private-label jams is an orange marmalade with slices of orange arranged around the sides of the jar: a painstaking job that can only be done by hand.

Innovation: the key to staying in front

Andrésy also markets collections of sweet and savoury recipes, which it regularly expands and tweaks to keep up with the latest trends and add new ingredients. The Well-being range marketed under its Les Petites Parisiennes brand  is a perfect example. Sparked by consumer interest in eating more healthily, it combines fruit flavours with superfoods.

Innovating is essential for Andrésy, which continues to stand out from the crowd and expand its business in France and abroad.

Julia Cassan concludes: “Our keyword is novelty. There is, and always will be, something to invent.”

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