Private-label jams, the taste of imagination

by | Art of Confiture


May 2018

At Andrésy Confitures, 80% of our time is spent designing and making private-label jams: a bespoke service that caters for the wants and needs of gourmet grocery shops, chefs and luxury hotels. How is a private-label recipe created?

Andrésy Confitures’ customers are constantly on the lookout for new ideas to surprise and delight the palates, eyes and moods of their customers.

They are looking for innovative, tasty recipes that embody their brand personality.

The ideas behind a private-label recipe

Chefs have such a long and varied list of wants and needs that it takes considerable inventiveness, adaptability and responsiveness to satisfy them. Andrésy Confitures’ job is to translate these ideas into flavours, which will then become unforgettable taste experiences.

What sort of requests lead to the creation of a private-label jam?

– Illustrate a theme or a word: “Christmas”, “transparency”, “deeply moving”, “a walk in the forest”, “a woman’s perfume”, or the jam “the year of Brazil”, designed for a famous grocery shop that wanted to celebrate the country hosting the football world cup.

– Capture a specific taste or memory: recapture a memory of childhood (confectionery, salted butter caramel, etc.), a taste that embodies a country or a continent (Spain, Asia, Africa, etc.), or create a taste from a specific list of ingredients.

– Reproduce a recipe invented by a chef in his own kitchen. In 2016, Andrésy Configures worked with a group of restaurants that had held a jam-creating competition for their chefs. Of the 10 recipes chosen by the selection committee, Andrésy Confitures picked three, which it then adapted, combining the criteria most likely to suit the tastes of restaurant diners. Julia Cassan and her team of third-generation jam makers made up the recipes and the group of restaurants chose one, which now features in its yoghurt bars.

The demanding process of creating a private-label jam

Andrésy Confitures’ Research & Development team, led by Julia Cassan, is in charge of creating jam recipes.

It can be a long journey from the original idea to the bottled jam, once you factor in the search for ingredients, the ingredient approval process and the many tests and customer tastings. Every last detail counts, including the colour, texture, firmness and size of the pieces of fruit, aroma, temperature (which can alter certain tastes), the type of ingredients and the order in which they are added to the mixture. Andrésy Confitures often creates variations on a standard recipe for customers who want to come away with a full range of jams.

One of the secrets to jam making is of course to taste, taste and taste again until you obtain exactly the right flavour. Then stabilise the flavour so that it always comes out the same, even if you make it ten times. Only then can you launch production.

Some brands are committed to French fruit

Some gourmet grocery shops, prestigious brands and strictly locally-based brands are actively defending French local production areas and local producers. They sell French jams made exclusively with fruit grown in France and refuse any recipe using exotic fruit or fruit grown outside France, such as pineapple, lemons from Sicily, Italy or Spain, figs from Morocco or blueberries from Canada or Iceland.

Andrésy Confitures supports them in their policy choices, even if it means that a variety is out of stock in years when the fruit is unavailable.

French jams with the best fruit

For over 60 years, Andrésy Confitures has supported the French roots of its jams and the “Made in France” know-how, i.e. a culinary culture and art that are recognised the world over.

The jam maker works with trusted French growers and provides support, in particular by financing certain young plants. It is a concrete commitment to protecting the heritage, jobs and biodiversity.

When French-grown fruit is in short supply or lacks the necessary taste quality, it makes up its supplies with fruit from other countries. This openness to outside sources enables it to create recipes using fruit that is not grown in France, together with  private-label jams for its customers, providing the fruit meets its quality criteria.

This gives Andrésy Confitures’ customer base of top chefs, luxury hotels and up-market boutiques a choice of original jams, prepared with its love of fruit and extensive know-how.

« Bespoke expertise is a combination of imagination, rigour and know-how »

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