St Pierre, the European bakery expert, has launched two new products into its range, moving away from ‘On the Go’ to tap into the trend for coffee shop experiences in the home.

The bakery brand, which is part of St Pierre Groupe has added individually wrapped Butter Croissants and Chocolate Filled Croissants to its existing range. Joining the Brioche Waffle, Millionaires Waffle, Caramel Waffles and Pain au Chocolat, the range now features six SKUs in total.

Originally sold as an ‘on the go’ selection of products, the four best-selling SKUs launched into Tesco stores nationwide in May of this year. However, the impact of COVID-19 was felt across the sector as consumers retreated to their homes.

Lockdown brought the closure of the UK’s coffee shops – almost 26,000 [Allegra] of them – and consequently, take-home value sales of hot beverages jumped more than 13 per cent in the 12 weeks to 12 July [Kantar].

Chris McLaughlin, Commercial Director at St Pierre Groupe explains: “The expansion of our range is, as ever, in answer to market demands. In-store bakery sales have declined, along with many other sectors, as a result of COVID. With heightened concerns around hygiene, our retail partners are asking for individually-wrapped morning goods and specifically, croissants.

“Conversations with our customers gave us the insight to bring new products to market that deliver what customers are looking for. Consumption habits have changed; people are less likely to head to the café for their usual morning fix. Those occasions have moved elsewhere, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t help people recreate the café culture they love, at home.

“St Pierre products are all about elevating the everyday. The new croissants – and especially the indulgent chocolate-filled croissants, do exactly that.”

The timing, as McLaughlin mentions, is apt. Posh coffee that can be enjoyed at home is on the rise and St Pierre Groupe are not the only brand to recognise the opportunity. Costa has worked with Asda to deliver ‘coffee shop serve’ suggestions on the supermarket site, whilst also encouraged a trade-up for standard coffee to its Costa At Home offering.

Added proof that consumers are creating at-home cafés came in John Lewis’ coffee machine sales – up 30 per cent year on year. Premium products in the hot beverage sector are on the up [The Grocer, Focus On Hot Beverages Sep 5 2020] and founder of St Pierre Groupe, Paul Baker, believes this premiumisation is a trend that will be replicated in multiple markets as the UK heads into a recession:

“Having been through a recession in 2008, we know it’s important that premium brands don’t shy away from quality. Consumers will ‘trade up’ like they did 12 years ago. Having less to spend makes shoppers slightly more discerning.

“The reality is that people will continue looking for ways to treat themselves well, at home, because they miss the luxuries of dining out or travelling. That’s why our focus has been and will continue to be on maintaining the supply of quality bakery products that will help to make ‘everyday magnifique’ for our grocery, foodservice and consumer partners”.

The St Pierre, individually wrapped and perfect-with-a-hot-drink products are available at selected Tesco, Sainsbury’s, WH Smiths and convenience stores nationwide. RRP £1.

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