Matthew Grenter Brioche Pasquier, Sales Manager

Brioche Pasquier, one of Britain’s best loved brioche brands, has re-designed the packaging of its continental bakery range to emphasise the French heritage and high product quality. One of its flagship products, Pains au Lait, has also changed its name and is now known as Brioche Rolls. Matthew Grenter, Brioche Pasquier Sales Manager spoke to Grocery Trader.

How would you sum up the Brioche Pasquier proposition?

Brioche Pasquier produce the classic taste of France with our Viennoiserie range, perfect for Breakfast, Lunch or a delicious treat later in the day.

What’s the split in your business between retail and foodservice?

Currently it’s around 80/20 in favour of retail, with our main driver being our family baked Brioche, but we’re closing the gap with the growing interest in French delicacies such as Macarons and Tartelettes.

How do you work with retailers to supply their continental bakery needs? As France’s number one brioche manufacturer, we can easily adapt to suit our clients’ needs, for example varying pack sizes for large supermarkets through to small local convenience stores. We advise clients on the optimal range of brioche products to match their customers’ demands, then we attract new customers to the category through a strong promotional plan.

What’s in your UK brioche and viennoiserie retail product range? Which are the biggest sellers? Where do you make your products?

Our Brioche Rolls and Brioche Rolls with Chocolate Chips are made here, with our Croissants, Pains au Chocolat, and Brioche Loaf coming from our sites in France. Most of our brioche is produced in France, using the traditional recipe cultivated by Gabriel Pasquier in 1936. Our best-selling retail lines are the PITCH range of individually wrapped brioche, ideal for kids with their brioche being either chocolate filled or chocolate chip. Messfree, it’s great for grab and go and has the Family Panel stamp of approval.

You’ve re-designed the continental bakery range and changed Pains au Lait’s name to Brioche Rolls. What was the story behind that?

We realised the name confused some consumers who weren’t familiar with the French term “Pains au Lait”. The term Brioche Rolls is self-explanatory, and immediately communicates the nature and quality of the product. We have also pointed out that Brioche Rolls are a great accompaniment to sweet or savoury dishes, with recipes and tips on the back of packs.

Are you updating any other products to make the packaging and usage clearer?

We’re in the process of a huge project across the whole company internationally, looking at making the recipes cleaner, and packaging easier to read and store. We’re also carrying out a packaging review to make all our packaging recyclable.

Your Viennoiserie is free from preservatives, artificial flavours and hydrogenated fats, yet stays fresh for up to 21 days. How does that work? 80 years ago, Gabriel Pasquier invented a unique starter dough known as ‘levain,’ which is an entirely natural product and is still used in all our brioche today. It has the remarkable ability to give our baked products their longevity and freshness for up to 21 days without need for preservatives.

Is there more NPD on the way?

We’re always trying to find exciting new ways to enjoy brioche, and with the rise of flavoured brioche such as that with chocolate chips, we are looking to create something no one has tasted before! Last year we had a teaser for our new brioche for kids, the PITCH Bloc ‘o’ Choc, This was a soft brioche roll with a solid milk chocolate centre, an exclusive delicious treat giving adults and kids the excitement of trying something quirky and new. Keep an eye out for its return.

How are you helping retailers grow their business?

We help retailers develop the right range offering for the morning goods aisle, finding opportunities they may be missing. We also present upcoming trends retailers should be aware of, such as the rise of brioche occasions other than Viennoiserie, like BBQ with Brioche Rolls; Grab and Go with our individually wrapped Pains au Chocolat, or more exciting lunches to trade up to, like a Croissant sandwich. With the majority of our brioche being great for both sweet and savoury options, we offer retailers more opportunities for cross promotions in store.

How can retailers maximise sales of your products?

With Brioche Pasquier producing authentic brioche consistently all year from both our UK and French production sites, retailers can be sure they are offering the freshest products to their customers. We work collaboratively with retailers to understand their customers further, and activate successful promotions to bring more people to the category. We also support them with marketing events, for example our sponsorship with Team Superschools, which promotes active lifestyles for children; and National Tea Day’s FesTeaVal, showing how to use brioche in delicious ways. We also work closely with our local community, supporting events close to our site in Milton Keynes, such as the MK Marathon and MK Dons football matches, where we sample our products to thousands of people.