Lerum: The comforting, homemade taste
By Ingrid Opstad | Photos: Lerum
W ith a passion for and knowledge of processing fruits and berries, the Lerum family has been producing jams and cordials – or as the Norwegians refer to it, ‘saft’ – the old-fashioned way since 1907. Today, innovation and their commitment to developing healthier products are key to the brand’s continuous success.
It all started a bit randomly at Sørheim farm in Sogn in Norway over 110 years ago. “My great-grandparents had a shop in the basement and would exchange goods from Bergen. One day, two buckets of raspberries were left on the dock by mistake, which they decided to turn into ‘saft’ for exchanging the following week. It was popular and led to them opening their first factory two years later,” says Trine Lerum Hjellhaug, managing director at Lerum. As the fourth generation, Lerum Hjellhaug took over the family business in 2005, alongside her two siblings and two cousins. Now, the farm has been transformed into a museum, which the Lerum family invites you to experience.
With products based on tradition, craftsmanship and quality, Lerum has since grown to become Norway’s top manufacturer of fruit drinks. “We have brought with us the old traditions and good values that our ancestors had, along with their passion and knowledge. But we must also dare to be innovative in order to develop further,” Lerum Hjellhaug says.
And judging by the brand’s most popular range of jams, Heimfrå, meaning ‘from home’, the pride and love that go into the products rub off. “The jam is made the old-fashioned way, with lots of fresh fruits and berries, to give it that delicious and comforting home-made taste,” says Lerum Hjellhaug.
Lerum is committed to sustainability. “We want to take responsibility for the society we are all part of and the people around us. We work, among other things, to develop healthier products and help reduce food waste,” the managing director says. There is an ongoing process of developing new products without added sugar or with reduced sugar content, while simultaneously working continuously with the reduction of sugar in their existing products. “But we can’t compromise on the flavour; the taste must stay as good as it always has been, even with less sugar!” she adds.
Recently, Lerum was awarded Superior Taste Award for the great taste of the ‘no added sugar’ product, called 80%. Heading into 2020, Lerum Hjellhaug is thrilled to announce a big year in terms of new releases. “We will soon be launching many exciting, new products, but I can’t quite reveal more just yet,” she smiles.
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