Interview with Tom Thomas, Director, Fruitomans

B Swaminathan (

Processing fruits is the art of sustaining the soul of nature itself. Transforming the choicest fruits into tasty fruit products, keeping up their natural qualities, and providing them with ample shelf life, are procedures that need to be handled with utmost care. Knowledge and experience, as well as a flawless research and development infrastructure, are the key factors that are needed for a successful fruit processing venture. Kerala based leading food product manufacturer Fruitomans has a wide range of varieties which would range from sauces, ketchup and syrups, and more. Tom Thomas, one of the directors of the company speaks on the history and current market trends.

What suggestion you would like to provide for the hoteliers in terms of procurements?
My suggestion for them is to first have their basic policies and details on track. Be it their business details or FSSAI license or

What are your expansion plans?
We are now focussing only on stabilizing the work. Our complete focus will be on sustainability and we would work only on maintaining the business. We do not have any bigger plans as we would like to see the third wave and make the right move.

Give us a small brief on your company:
Established in 1957, by the Late Mr. N.J Thomas and his associate Mr. P.S Luckose, Fruitoman’s primarily concentrated on pineapple products. In the early seventies, Fruitoman’s set up a canning unit at Vazhakkulam in suburban Kochi. Vazhakkulam is renowned as South India’s major sourcing center for the finest pineapples.

Over the years, Fruitoman’s expanded its product range under stringent quality and hygiene norms developed by Fruitoman’s research lab. It now consistently supplies an assortment of delicious and nutritious Fruit Products, Pickles, Baking Ingredients, and Confectionary compliments to Indian and overseas markets.

As a food product manufacturer, what is the biggest challenge you face?
Right now logistics and supply chain are the key challenges we face. With the increase in the rate of fuel, we have day-to-day challenges that would impact the lives of many common men. Thus, it is a challenge for manufacturers like us to take it ahead.

What are the efforts you make to ensure quality in your products?
We are a process-driven company and have strict policies in place to move this ahead. Our products are packed after going through stringent quality measures. Rather than a business, food processing is our passion. Our legacy says about us.

What impact COVID had brought to the food business?
Overall it might look like food manufacturing is the only sector to grow. However, I could see when there is a lack of cash flow, the sector does not grow. I can check there is overall a 25% drop in the export business too.
In the past lockdown, we had noticed many customers ordered things in bulk quantity. However, in the second wave, customers are not showing too much interest in cooking as they were in the previous year.

How many products do you have and what are your key markets?
We have 200 SKUs ranging from sauces to ketchup to crushes. We focus on 400 stores through 100 of our distributors. Our major market is India and we concentrate on the Middle East and the UK to a large extent. Our major focus is on the upcoming new form of retail stores in many places.


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