French glacé cherries from Provence the natural store-cupboard essential

French glacé cherries are a traditional store cupboard ingredient – a keen baker will always have a jar lurking somewhere in their kitchen, and it seems this humble favourite has had a revival thanks to a rise in popularity for home baking and natural products.  According to Mintel* value sales of home baking ingredients are expected to increase by 9.1% over the next year to reach £576 million.

Jean Pierre Cuxac, the president of ANIBI which is the trade organisation for French glacé cherries, commented, “The Mintel report shows that the revival in home baking is being led by the younger generation. Natural products like the French glacé cherry are important to these consumers. Our campaign focuses on emphasising the natural and sustainable way in which our cherries are grown, as well as explaining the artisanal process which has been perfected by French farmers for centuries to create this delicious product.”

There are around 3,000ha of cherry orchards in the Luberon region of Provence, producing 11,000 tonnes of cherries per year. “Napoleon” Bigarreau is the main variety of cherry used for glacé cherry production, with a smaller number of varieties such as Camus or Rainier also used. These types of cherry are well suited to the production of the glacé cherry because the stone does not stick to the flesh of the fruit, the stalk of the fruit detaches easily and the firmness of the fruit is particularly well adapted to the production process. The finished product is 100% natural.

This year’s UK French glacé cherries marketing campaign will target the trade and press. As well as forging a partnership with the Craft Guild of Chefs, and running a series of French glacé cherry cookery masterclasses in catering colleges across the country, the campaign will invest in trade advertorials and a sampling exercise to some 200 key food writers and bloggers. The campaign will reach over 60,000 chefs, caterers, students and press.

* Mintel Report, HomeBaking, August 2010

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