Le fruit made history at the end of 2015 as it was awarded the internationally-recognised Great Taste award for it’s range of sustainably grown artisanal jams and juices.
The brand is unique in Vietnam in that it’s products are made exclusively from fresh fruits sourced locally and are not from concentrate, contains no preservatives, no chemicals, no artificial flavors and nothing is genetically modified. The jams are made from sustainably grown fruit which is freshly-picked by local farmers and then hand chopped before being cooked by a highly-skilled team who judge when it is ready by sight, scent and taste. Similarly the fresh fruits destined for their juices are squeezed and crushed just a few days after harvesting.
The company’s location on the Mekong delta means that they are able to quickly transport ripe fruits to the factory shortly after picking. Managing Director, Jean-Luc Voisin, maintains that to use artificial ingredients is “not necessary with such fresh ingredients and a ratio of at least 60% fruit to 40% cane sugar”. Le fruit products are pesticide-free and are regularly tested for over 60 types of pesticide. Jean Luc Voisin believes he has succeeded in this area where others have failed because of the trusting relationships he has developed with his suppliers over the past sixteen years.
Le Fruit’s sister company, Cafés Folliet produce a gourmet range of coffees and teas and maintain the same high standards and ethics. The brand was launched in France in 1880 and established itself in Vietnam in 2000. They offer small-batch, craft roasted coffees and handpicked teas, including many rare varieties. Their rich, aromatic coffees are sun-roasted and their teas are organic and certified by Fair Trade. In April this year Cafés Folliet teas and coffees were made available directly to the public for the first time ever.
Both Cafés Folliet and Le Fruit are making big developments forward in the food industry in Vietnam and the Great Taste award will help promote the brand’s transparent ethics both within Vietnam and abroad. The Great Taste award is widely acknowledged as the most respected food accreditation award for artisan and speciality food producers worldwide. The award was first established in 1994 as a means to provide encouragement and mentoring services to artisanal food producers as they compete against supermarket premium own-label brands. When testing a product the judges look for outstanding texture and appearance and the gold stars received resemble hours of blind tasting of over 10,000 different foods and drinks.
As the first Vietnamese-based brand to receive a Great Taste award Le Fruit can celebrate their sixteen years of hard work and development. The occasion was marked with a refreshing new look as the company approached Vietnamese branding and creative agency, Rice Creative to design new packaging. Rice Creative are well-respected in Vietnam and have successfully collaborated with Marou Faiseurs de Chocolat and UNICEF in recent years. The packaging created for Le Fruit and Cafés Folliet has linked the brands visually while still allowing each of them to maintain their own identity.
Le Fruit currently have eleven vibrant jams with innovative fruit combinations including ‘Jack Fruit & Passion Fruit’, ‘Dragon Fruit & Banana’ and ‘Mango & Star Fruit’. This year has also seen them update their juice range to include vegetable juices; a ‘Carrot, orange & pineapple’ blend and a ‘Mango nectar’ prepared with fresh wild mangoes grown on a small farm in the Mekong River Delta.
Going forward Jean-Luc Voisin envisages the brand’s new packaging to communicate the company’s ‘healthy and authentic’ position in the market. Above all Voisin’s brands promote sustainable farming and local sourcing, proving that this is both achievable and profitable in today’s consumer driven Vietnam.