A complete packing line solution from Ishida Europe has enabled an entrepreneurial French company to automate and bring in-house the packing of its dehydrated fruit and vegetable snacks, with the ability to increase throughput six-fold.
Il Était Un Fruit, based in Montpellier, was founded in 2014 by Laure Vidal, who wanted to ensure her children were able to eat the required five portions of fruit and vegetables each day. She devised a means of drying seasonal fruits from the region, such as apples, pears, strawberries and apricots.
In 2016, the company raised €1.2m to support its commercial development, including investment in equipment to industrialize the process. Further investment is planned for 2020. In addition, in 2019 the product offering was diversified with the introduction of dried sliced vegetables, including a special Apéritif range.
Il Était Un Fruit’s products are sold in a variety of bag sizes for the retail sector – 10, 15, 30, 50 and 80g – as well as 1 and 2kg bags for specialist retail companies. With the many different fruit and vegetable varieties, this equates to around 40 different product lines, requiring a fast and flexible weighing and bagging solution.
Initially the company contracted out its packing operation but when the decision was made to take it in-house, Ishida was selected for its ability to provide a complete solution for which it had total responsibility, as well as the company’s reputation for accurate weighing and reliable after-sales service.