Traditional Andrésy jams travel in space and time!

by | Art of Confiture

03

October 2018

Andrésy has been a tireless innovator since the day it was founded. Having started life with a single traditional jam brand for local stores, the business has grown to incorporate new signature designs. It has widened its reach and expanded its ranges. However, despite the passage of time, the Andrésy ethos remains the same.

A single brand for local stores

Jams manufactured by Andrésy were initially distributed to over one thousand local grocery stores, bakeries and delicatessens. They were branded And Pieral, a contraction of the names of the founder of the jam company’s three business colleagues.

At this time, in 1952, Andrésy was preparing its jams in copper pans – which are prized for their effectiveness in evaporating water from fruit – and adding a healthy dose of sugar as a preserving agent. They were packaged in jars similar to those bought in shops by housewives for their preserves and home-made jams. In the workshop, the jars were filled and sealed by hand with a thin layer of paraffin wax or a disc of paper soaked in alcohol.

New and distinctive designs

Andrésy was already offering over fifty traditional jam recipes, all presented identically.

But to help customers differentiate between them, a dozen or so brands were developed. One of the brands was called Walther, after the first-generation founder of the family, which still manages Andrésy Confitures to this day. It was presented in little pot-bellied round pots like jam pans.

Managing Director Laure Cassan recalls: “My grandmother used to write the labels by hand and we would stick them onto the jars with a sponge.” Later, printed labels were introduced, but they were still applied by hand.

New and distinctive designs

Andrésy was already offering over fifty traditional jam recipes, all presented identically.

But to help customers differentiate between them, a dozen or so brands were developed. One of the brands was called Walther, after the first-generation founder of the family, which still manages Andrésy Confitures to this day. It was presented in little pot-bellied round pots like jam pans.

Managing Director Laure Cassan recalls: “My grandmother used to write the labels by hand and we would stick them onto the jars with a sponge.” Later, printed labels were introduced, but they were still applied by hand.

«From local stores to international hotels»

Lids and covers, the iconic hallmarks of traditional jams

In 1970, René Walther asked Saint-Gobain, which manufactured the company’s glass jars, to design a screw-top lid. This was an improvement in terms of hygiene and conservation. The metal lid was not very aesthetic so he topped it with a paper cover decorated with a small checked design and secured with an elastic band. Blue-and-white checks for And Pieral, and red-and-white or orange-and-white checks for Walther. This made it easy to tell them apart.

This image of traditional jam is engraved in people’s memories and has been adopted by other jam manufacturers, who print the check pattern directly onto the lid.

Daily delivery rounds

Deliveries had to be made to over one thousand small shops in the Paris region, the North of France, and the Nièvre, Touraine and Yonne regions. Every evening, Andrésy loaded up three vans, which set out the next morning, each carrying a tonne of jam to customers in Paris and the surrounding area. For the provinces, a driver at the wheel of a four to six-tonne lorry would carry out a delivery round lasting between a week and ten days.

“It was relatively straightforward,” explains Gérard Cassan, “as the customers were clustered together in the same area and traffic was much lighter than today.”

The shift towards the high-end hotel and export market

In 1988, the business moved to Maurecourt and Andrésy Confitures took the lorries out of service. Contractors made deliveries to hotels in the Paris region, tourist destinations in the South of France, and ski resorts. This era also saw the introduction of the small 28g glass jars for the hotel market, which are now the industry standard.

It marked the beginning of a new direction for the business, with a focus on developing luxury hotel and export markets.

The Andrésy ethos stands the test of time!

Those days are long gone. Now, we have customers on five continents and consumer tastes change at the drop of a hat. However, discerning standards remain firmly embedded in the Andrésy DNA.

To this day, traditional jams are prepared in copper pans, which help them to set. Recipes still stand out on account of their premium raw materials, flavours and textures.

The company continues to foster a special relationship with its fruit growers, some of whom have remained loyal to the brand for over forty years.

But first and foremost, Andrésy has retained its spirit of innovation by continuously developing new products and creating bespoke jams for its high-end customers. These strengths all contribute to its cachet in the French gastronomy market.

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