Leïla Louzani, who's originally from southern France, has been in the business of buying and selling fruit and vegetables at the Rungis market for years. Since August 2020, she started her own company, KL FRUITS, and began looking for reliable suppliers to achieve her objective: to develop a Premium brand for the French market. This is how she found the Spanish supplier Fruta de Autor, a recently created group of 4 companies with the same objective, and whose brands are gaining ground in brand-oriented markets around the world.
Citrus fruits, as well as melons, watermelons and stone fruit, are among the most important products for these brands. At the moment, the second part of the citrus campaign is underway, following a difficult first part because of the impact of the weather and the strong competition.
“We started in September with the Clemenrubi and then continued with the Clemenules and, in January, with the protected variety Sando, which despite not being very well known in the market, has been widely accepted by customers. At the moment, we are working with Nadorcott and Hernandina mandarins. There is a good market for mandarins; better than for oranges, which have been much more affected by the closure of restaurants and the low activity in the hospitality industry, especially those intended for juicing. Lemon sales have also been hurdled by strong competition from Turkey, which has been shipping large volumes to the European markets,” says Leïla Louzani.
“It's not easy to develop a premium brand, especially in France, where there is a lot of competition with big brands that have already been established for many years. Selling at any price is easy, but selling at high prices, at the level of the most recognized brands, is not easy and involves a huge effort in the selection of quality, varieties and packaging... and very, very hard work. At the moment, the Fruta de Autor and Princesa brands, which adhere to this philosophy, are achieving a high degree of customer satisfaction. Normally, it takes at least three years, on average, for a brand to have operative working lines in France. We are already working with the brand with two wholesalers in Toulouse and Perpignan, four in Rungis and an importer in Belgium. Our goal is also to be able to expand to supermarket chains. We are going little by little, but we are very ambitious."