St Pierre has been inspired by European Café culture to create a range of premium bakery products with a sophisticated taste to enjoy every day. The brand is available worldwide and is the fastest growing bakery brand in the USA.

St Pierre Bakery range of products include brioche, croissants and Belgian waffles.

Louise Waggett, Marketing Controller at St Pierre Groupe, spoke to Wholesale Manager.

Can you tell us some of the history of the St Pierre brand?

Founded over 25 years ago, St Pierre has a rich French heritage that is a fundamental part of the brand story today. The St Pierre range is based on traditional recipes that date back six centuries and it is this authenticity that sets the brand apart from its competitors and makes it synonymous with quality brioche.

My first experience of St Pierre was eight years ago, when I worked with the founders Jeremy Gilboy and Paul Baker as a consultant and saw then the potential the brand had, so I was really delighted to join St Pierre Groupe in 2019 as Marketing Controller, to help take the brand onto the next level. Today the brand is now the UK’s number one brioche burger bun brand and is growing rapidly.

The growth of St Pierre accelerated after we identified a gap in the US market for premium bakery products and went on to launch the brand there in 2014. It has continued to grow rapidly ever since, with the brand achieving annual sales of £80m in 2019 and is the number one brioche brand and number one European bakery brand in America.

This year has been a particularly exciting year for St Pierre. Not only has the brand undergone a brand refresh, which accentuates and brings to life the brand’s French heritage, but it also secured a national listing in Tesco in May.

What different products do you supply under the St Pierre brand?

St Pierre is famous for brioche and its range includes light buttery tasting and soft brioche burger buns and loaves, hot dog rolls and golden brioche baguettes. St Pierre is sold in Tesco stores nationwide and offers consumers an easy way to elevate everyday meals.

St Pierre also successfully launched its On the Go range in 2018, which includes croissants, pains au chocolat, brioche waffles and stroop waffles. Since the launch we have seen sales of the range grow by 150% YOY. Due to the range’s popularity, we introduced a new individually-wrapped Millionaires Waffle earlier this year, which taps into the trend for indulgence food.

What are the biggest trends in the UK bread market?

The Covid-19 crisis has had a significant impact on the value that consumers place on food with for many, home cooking returning to the norm. Eating at home is now the new eating out, which means consumers are increasingly looking for inspiration and easy ways to trade up their favourite dishes. St Pierre, for example, offers consumers a simple way to elevate a BBQ by making a traditional burger magnifique and replacing white bread rolls with light buttery tasting French brioche, or trade up a bacon butty by using a brioche loaf.

How has the St Pierre brand been performing since it was relaunched in the spring?

Really well, thank you! We have had great consumer and trade feedback on the new look and have found that on shelf stand out has significantly improved, along with brand recall. The brand has seen a sales uplift in comparison to this time last year. The brand refresh also coincided with our bakery and food to go ranges launching into Tesco Supermarkets and Tesco Express Stores.

How are you helping your retail customers grow their business?

We work closely with our customers to help them maximise their bread and bakery sales. This includes using a number of activation tools, from offering striking Parisian point of sale and inspiring recipe cards at the fixture to social media advertising, sampling and coupons.

How can wholesalers maximise sales of your products?

One of the ways we have helped our customers maximise their sales is by, where appropriate, providing eye catching off shelf display units. These displays showcase the whole bakery range, get more stock on the floor and tempt trial. In the case of food to go, where fixture space is more limited, we have offer bespoke counter and shelf units with a small footprint, which satisfies the retailer need for space optimisation.

What are you doing to promote the St Pierre brand to consumers?

Watch this space! With our new listing in Tesco, we have an exciting year ahead and will be announcing our plans for a consumer campaign soon!

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