With Christmas and New Year's fast approaching, it is time for many employers to show appreciation for their staff's input this last year. It is, thus, hectic at Logofruit. This Flemish Fruitsnacks subsidiary was founded ten years ago to give its fruit delivery business partners a chance to spread a message with printed fruit. "With this year's crop's good quality, it's extra nice to thank employees or offer New Year's greetings in the surprise package," begins Fruitsnacks and Logofruit's Roel Paesmans.
Fruitsnacks initially introduced the concept of printing the 'simple' apple, thus creating a value-added marketing product. "It was a novelty at the time. Laser printing already existed, but that damages the apple's skin, compromising its quality and shelf life. This printing method keeps the quality intact and can add to the product. We use colored edible paste to print on apples or pears, allowing you to share a message. There are endless possibilities."
"For example, companies put a QR code or logo on apples during trade shows or marketing events. That attracts more attention than a mug or flyer. People take a picture instead of the product ending up in the trash or the back of a cupboard. It's also great for things like weddings and christenings. You can express your thanks to business associates, employees, or loved ones," says Roel.
A message straight from the orchard
According to him, that is especially popular around the festive season. "It plays nicely into the increasing search for health and sustainability in the workplace. That's noticeable in small extras or surprise packages, where you can easily replace candy with a tasty apple. Also, the fruit comes from the orchard, which is literally adjacent to our office, so it's a short chain to the customer."
That is because Fruitsnacks cultivates the fruit Logofruit uses. "That printing works best with top fruit, which we grow. It might work on, say, a firm plum or nectarine, but regarding color contrast with the skin, we've seen that apples are particularly suited. We have the paste in blue or white; other colors aren't possible. Blue looks beautiful on pears, but the most common white is lovely on Red Prince apples, for example," Roel explains.
Good quality crop
"This year's excellent crop is a bonus. Harvesting was hard work for a while because of all the rain we've had and are still having. That slowed things down somewhat. Nevertheless, everything came off the trees nicely. So quality-wise, we have little to complain about, and yields are higher than we've seen in past years. We're, therefore, proud to deliver this fruit in baskets to the companies, including Logofruit apples."
Logofruit has been working with a Belgian cancer foundation for several years. For every ten logo apples sold, the company donates €0.20 to this charity. "At the end of a period, we look at how much fruit we've sold and donate a sum of money to 'Kom op tegen Kanker'. It's a good cause close to our hearts; we like being involved. For instance, my father recently participated in 'Trap mee tegen Kanker', where you cycle 1,000 kilometers over four days. That's also a nice way to give," says Paesmans.
Logofruit is essentially an extension of its company's fruit deliveries. "We don't deny new companies' requests, but we've moved away from the B2C market. Such low print runs didn't align with what we want to convey regarding sustainability. We, thus, mainly focus on our clients, whom we already supply with Fruitsnacks. It's a kind of customer loyalty. It's also fairly labor-intensive, so we can't print 100,000 apples a day. It's especially for companies or agencies wanting to offer something extra."
Germany is a growth market
The company supplies clients across Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, and Germany. After the difficult pandemic years, Fruitsnacks and Logofruit are doing well again. "Last year, we were already back to pre-pandemic volume," Roel continues. "This year, we're up about 35%. That shows that there's still a market. Existing customers have remained loyal, and new ones are coming in fast."
He sees the most potential in Germany. "In Belgium, we're the market leader, and the Netherlands is more of a displacement market. There, fruit at work is already more established, making us a relatively small player. There's only room in that market if companies want a different supplier. Germany, on the other hand, is a growth market. Fruit at work isn't as well known yet, so it's a matter of introducing the option for a healthy work snack more. That represents a focus for us in the coming years," concludes Roel.