The two founders, Camille Bloch and Maxime Théry have selected quality fruits and vegetables that they have added to cocoa butter in order to obtain a texture that can be both smooth and melting. A smart idea for these aromatic squares!
Carrés Léon becomes Carrés Futés
The idea of the squares came about by chance. As Camille Bloch explains:
“I was looking at an advertisement for chocolate bars and I thought that we would use the same format but with the addition of fruits and vegetables.”
As a student at ENSAI, the National School of Agronomy and Food Industries of Lorraine, she participates with 8 other students in another competition organised by Carrefour, called “Get started and create your thing”. This event allows them to gain visibility and, once her diploma is in her pocket, Camille decides to take over the project.
She joins forces with her friend Maxime Théry, also a food-processing engineer whom she met during an internship in Mayenne. Little by little, they divide up the roles; he takes care of the B2B commercial financing part and she takes care of communication, marketing and research and development (R&D). They first call their brand “Les Carrés Léon”, in reference to the square shape of the product and their mascot “Léon”. A few years later, they will change their name to “Carrés Futés” to clarify the message to consumers.
Easy to use vegetable squares
Les Carrés Futés come in the form of an 80g bar, divided into 18 squares and available in 3 recipes:
- carrot – beetroot and a touch of garlic
- leek – celery and a touch of fennel
- tomato – pepper and a sprig of basil and shallot
Their strength is the way they are used. Melted in a sauce, grated on top of a dish or added to any preparation to colour and/or flavour. “We wanted to keep the same use as those that were already marketed.” Unlike other products available on the market, their 100% natural composition appeals to more consumers.
While our consumer society invites us to reflect on our lifestyle and eating habits, many are turning to alternatives that are more respectful of the environment and healthier. Goodbye to preservatives and other industrial colourings. New generations are now interested in products with a shorter and more transparent list of ingredients.
Camille and Maxime’s objective is simple: to offer a 100% natural culinary aid that tastes good in a differentiating format, made of cocoa butter for an easy-to-work texture.
Camille says, “We have very strict specifications. Indeed, since we use cocoa butter, a fatty substance insoluble in water, we work with dehydrated ingredients. 50% of our vegetables come from France and 50% from Europe, depending on the supply. In addition, today we know that many consumers have replaced traditional stock cubes, often industrial, with our smart cubes, so we are really satisfied.”
A smart approach, validated by Chef François Lanoy
Today we have 3 vegetable recipes. To create the Carrés Futés, Camille and Maxime called on Chef François Lanoy from La Table d’Antony. Together, they worked on the product in order to find suitable combinations of flavours. The “leek, celery, cumin” has thus become “leek, fennel, celery”. As for the “carrot, beetroot, garlic” cubes, it becomes “carrot, curry, onion”.
In addition, since September, the two entrepreneurs have created a premium “organic” range with new flavours:
- tomato thyme celery,
- carrot leek,
- onion bouquet garni,
- carrot curry coconut-ginger.
If the two founders have opted for natural ingredients, the same goes for their packaging made of 100% recyclable and biodegradable cardboard. “With Maxime, we often question ourselves and try to be as local as possible, we minimise our carbon impact as much as possible”, explains Camille.
New squares in a sweet version
If originally, Les Carrés Futés were exclusively salted, since the end of 2020 the company has diversified and offers a fruity range that comes in several flavours: strawberry – raspberry, lemon – tangerine, or mango – passion, are part of this new sweet range. These new squares can’t yet be used in pastries for technical reasons. In the meantime, Camille suggests grating the smart squares at the end of preparation in order to add a gourmet touch which, depending on the flavours chosen, can also be used as natural colouring.
Carrés Futés are currently available in medium and large stores (Monoprix, Franprix, Auchan, Carrefour Maket, Grand Frais La Grande Epicerie Paris) and in organic stores (La Vie Claire). It is also possible to order them online on Kazidomi and Monoprix.
Note that a bar can be kept for up to 6 months at room temperature.
Translated by Malvika Kathpal