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St Pierre Driving U.S. Brioche Market With New Innovations

St Pierre
From left to right: Paul Baker, founder, and Jen Danby, international marketing director, St. Pierre Groupe.

Last updated on September 2nd, 2022 at 09:35 am

London, England-based St Pierre Bakery is known in America for its sweet and soft brioche products. Brioche is a bit different from most breads because it’s made with an “enriched dough and tastes a little sweeter,” according to Paul Baker, St Pierre’s founder.

Baker recently sat down with The Shelby Report to discuss the company’s history and where it plans on growing next.

The brand got its start 10 years ago at the IDDBA Expo, Baker recalled.

“We literally started with a table and we started with lots of products and we didn’t know what was going to be a success,” he said. “For the first three years, we actually didn’t sell one product at all. We just came and we learned and we listened.”

In that third year at the expo, which was held in Orlando, Florida, the company connected with Lipari Foods.

“Each year we evolved and we developed…we looked at the American legalities and what we needed to do with the packaging. We deconstructed the brand and then rebuilt the brand to speak to U.S. consumers,” Baker explained. 

“It was very basic, ‘What is the product? What do I do with it? Why do I need it really?’ And we added a bit of romance as well about Paris and the history of brioche.”

Baker said he touted the brand as “familiar but different” when it came to marketing brioche to American consumers. Now the brand’s products range from burger and hot dog buns to bagels, croissants and crepes.

“Americans know burger buns, know hot dog rolls, know French toast. They’ve been doing that for years,” he said. “Brioche is not a quantum leap for the consumer to understand. But the quality differential is really quite big.

“Sometimes burger buns fall apart, which is really quite irritating if you’re grilling at home. Our burger bun stays together. It’s softer, it’s enriched and it’s a bit sweeter. That’s really the foundation of the success. The product works and it’s great quality and people understand that.”

St Pierre continues to grow its portfolio. At the beginning of 2022, it launched a sesame seed burger bun in a four pack. Along with that, it has expanded the brioche burger buns to a six count. It also has introduced a four-count brioche bagel. 

“A lot of innovation fails because it’s not really directed at the consumer,” Baker said. “It’s a manufacturer who said, ‘Well, I’ve got this line and maybe if I put that with that, it’ll make a good product.’ 

“You really need to look at what consumers are doing. How are they consuming? When are they consuming? Who’s in the household? All that stuff we look into and we spend a lot of time doing that. That really should direct your innovation. 

“Again, it doesn’t have to be ground shattering. Brioche is already establishing itself in this market and will continue to do so. There’s still plenty of gas in the tank.”

According to March 2021 Nielsen data, St Pierre bakery is responsible for a third of the brioche bakery products on the market. It has driven the category, with 63 percent brand growth year over year, while the rest of the category lags a full 2 percent behind.

For more information, visit stpierrebakery.com.

For more signature content from The Shelby Report, click here.

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Donald E. Stephens Convention Center
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