More than A Century-old History
Coconut, as an ingredient in the production of confectionery items was first utilized in the United Kingdom in the late 1870's. At that time, whole nuts were being shipped into that country from its colony in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), where coconuts grew in great abundance. However, because of difficulties in the handling and distribution of the raw material, coupled with long shipping times, product spoilage became a major problem. In 1888, a firm headed by a British entrepreneur, Henry Vavasseur, conducted experiments on a tea leaf dryer, successfully developing a process for preserving the material through drying (or desiccating) of the coconut meat. Vavasseur subsequently introduced the very first desiccated coconut brand in England called the Black V and commenced commercial production in Ceylon. The brand became an instant success and the company quickly expanded distribution throughout the rest of Europe. Before the end of the century, the brand was introduced into the United States.
In 1909, the USA imposed a heavy tariff on imports of the product into the country. It, however, exempted the Philippines, which was a part of its territories in Asia at that time, seeking to help in the development of its coconut industry. Taking advantage of the duty exemption, the Vavasseurs established production facilities in the Philippines in 1923. However, in order to differentiate the Philippine product from Ceylon's Black V, the Red V brand was created.
The sale of desiccated coconut in the USA was first undertaken through a company in New York called J.H. Vavasseur & Co. Subsequently, import and distribution of the Red V brand from the Vavasseur plants in the Philippines were assumed by a company called Red V Coconut Products, Inc. Through aggressive promotions, sales of coconut grew tremendously in the ensuing years, including sweetened coconut in food service and retail packs, which the company had begun to manufacture in its own plant in the U.S.A.
RV Industries, Inc.
In 1993, RV Industries, Inc. (RVI) was established to assume the exclusive distribution of the Red V brand throughout North, Central and South America. They moved to a larger and more modern production and warehouse facility in Doraville (near Atlanta), Georgia, to be able to serve better its growing industrial, food service and retail markets. The new plant operates under strict GMP and HACCP programs, is Kosher certified and audited yearly by the American Institute of Baking (AIB). Last year's audit gave the plant a Superior rating.
RVI has also expanded its product line to include innovative items such as aseptically processed coconut milk, coconut water (as a beverage), spray dried coconut milk powder and reduced fat coconut, all produced by its affiliated factories in the Philippines. These ingredients cater to exciting new applications in the manufacture of beverage, sauce and confectionery products. In addition, utilizing the facilities of its affiliated companies based in Southeast Asia, Australia and the United Kingdom, RVI is now able to source and supply a varied range of other food ingredients and snack items, catering to the needs of its existing customers.
Today, alert to the complex challenges of the new millennium, backed up by a well-experienced management team, and powered by the same spirit of innovation which moved the pioneering Vavasseur firms, RVI continues the old tradition of excellence in quality and service performance for which the Red V brand is known.