Lu, Kraft and UFOs

Lefèvre-Utile bake biscuits. Better known as LU, the French company started in Nantes in 1846, initially as a distributor for Huntley and Palmers before then baking their own. Best known for their elaborate posters by Alfonse Mucha and Firmin Bouisset, as well as the classic Petit Beurre. LU became part of Kraft in 2007, with Kraft’s ‘global snacks’ business recently evolving into Mondelez International (perhaps to get away from the big ‘K’s association with distasteful things like underground caverns of processed cheese).


Another symbol of the LU empire is the architecture of the former biscuit factory, once a sprawling riverside complex dominated by two Deco towers, their illuminated windows picking out the ‘LU’ logo in coloured glass. Almost all of the vast complex is gone now, as has one of the towers, transformed into the Lieu Unique, an arts centre. The new LU factory is a utilitarian usine on the outskirts of Nantes in La Haye-Fouassière, with a tacked-on Kraft sign beneath the classic ‘LU’ logo. It also stands next to a fabulous roundabout: the flying saucer. It’s also home to a geocache. From the link:

‘The name “La Haye-Fouassière” comes from “fouace” or “Fouasse”, a local specialty cake star-shaped six horns. The “fouaciers” have formed a large corporation during several centuries. The last “fouacier” stopped its activity in 1992. A “fouace” is present on the emblem of the town. A biscuit moved to La Haye-Fouassière in 1987, near the cache. In 1993 it was decided to beautify the roundabout near the plant by placing a flying saucer five meters in diameter surrounded by three astronauts to 2 meters high, each bearing an emblem of the town: a fouace, a bottle of Muscadet and a “petit beurre”. This decoration costed at the time 800,000 Francs and made mention of the town at the French TV. You can make this cache at evening, the saucer shines of different colors. The cache is magnetic. Be discreet when you discovered and replaced.’

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