St Pierre Groupe has secured significant growth in Scotland throughout 2020, quadrupling sales in retail, more than doubling sales in wholesale and bucking the trend in bakery with its branded proposition.
International branded bakery business, St Pierre Groupe, has revealed new figures highlighting the extent of its growth in Scotland over the past 12 months. The business, which includes the St Pierre, Baker Street and Paul Hollywood bakery brands in its portfolio, secured impressive new distribution over the course of the year which has fuelled its expansion in the Scottish market.
Its retail sales increased dramatically year on year, up 255 per cent on 2019’s figures. This is, predominantly, due to new national listings with Tesco. St Pierre Groupe brands have also enjoyed continued success with Sainsbury’s, Morrison’s and online retail giant, Ocado.
Chris McLaughlin, Commercial Director at St Pierre Groupe comments, “We went into 2020 with a very clear UK strategy; to drive our core range into deeper distribution. Part of that strategy was developed to deliver growth in Scotland. As customers shop slightly differently in Scotland to the rest of the UK, it offered unique opportunities.
“Of course, by the end of Q1, we had to reassess our routes to market to maintain growth, but decided to stick with the overall plan. Rather than reduce efforts, we reassigned supply, ensuring that product destined for food service was re-routed to meet demand in retail”.
In wholesale, the story is equally upbeat, with figures up 51 per cent year on year amidst a category in decline by 18 per cent. The business has grown the presence of its brands with major players including Booker over the past 12 months, but has also maintained its stronghold with convenience and independent retailers, thanks to partnerships with distributors including Van Sales Direct.
McLaughlin continues, “As a result of staying agile, despite all the challenges 2020 threw at us, we were able to launch new products that responded to changing customer needs. This included new additions to our morning goods for St Pierre, to take advantage of the huge boost in take-home coffee sales and decline in in-store bakery and new catering-specific products for Baker Street, which helped save money for operators thanks to the extended-life, ambient proposition.”
Within its wholesale offering, there is further insight into how St Pierre Groupe brands are bucking the trend. Wholesale figures for retail tell an impressive story, up 66 per cent on 2019, but perhaps most commendable is the continued expansion of the business’ food service sector.
For many businesses, the pandemic led to a drop in foodservice sales, thanks to 10 months of intermittent lockdowns which brought with them the closure of many of Scotland’s food outlets. However, St Pierre Groupe bucked the trend in this area, with wholesale sales in food service increasing by 25 per cent.
McLaughlin adds, “We took the pandemic as an opportunity to work alongside our foodservice partners, strengthening our relationships with Monterey Jack’s and launching a co-branded TV campaign in one of the most challenging years hospitality has ever faced.
“Being able to maintain growth, whilst supporting our partners in retail, wholesale and food service when it mattered most was a real achievement for St Pierre Groupe and we’re heading into 2021 with renewed energy and excitement about how our brands can deliver more for our customers in Scotland.”
As well as significant growth in 2020, the business won ‘Exporter of the Year’ at the 2020 Grocer Gold Awards and increased its company headcount by 50 per cent, securing its place on the Sunday Times International Track 200 for the fifth year running.