The business – which produces frozen bread and pastries sold across the world - is to invest around €400m ($450m) over the next five years at its sites in the US, Canada and France. (See box-out below.)
Bridor currently has 1,800 employees, and said the investment will create at least 1,000 new jobs worldwide in roles including bakers, chefs, engineers, technicians and sales.
Bridor turnover grew 20% last year to around €500m ($656m), said the France-based company, which is projecting the investment will help drive global sales to €1bn ($1.1bn) by 2020.
Exporting to more than 90 countries
France accounts for just under a quarter of Bridor’s sales but 60% of its production, and the company sees exports as a key growth area. It currently exports to more than 90 countries worldwide.
While pastries were a key part of the Bridor business, artisan bread is expected to be a high-growth area, Erwan Inizan, sales director for the UK, Ireland, Nordic & Baltic territories, told BakeryandSnacks.
“Our wide cross section of customers – which includes supermarkets, restaurants, hotels, cafes and food service - are looking for innovation and solutions to a variety of trends within the industry, such as health, gluten free and authentic/ heritage recipes,” he added.
In geographic terms, Inizan said Bridor expects to see strong growth in all its key markets in Europe, North America and Asia.
He added that each territory offered different opportunities, although the company believes that offering “high-quality products for more discerning customers” is a global trend.
“Expectations in terms of quality for French-style products are not at the same level in North America but this is already changing and we expect even more in the future,” Inizan said.
Innovation would be key challenge for the business going forward, he added, as Bridor looked to keep consumers satisfied and follow consumer trends in the respective regions.
Bridor added that tackling growing concerns in the US and Europe about the sugar content and health profile of baked goods was a key element of its innovation.
“Bridor is often leading this field with exposure to 90 countries worldwide and exposure to government regulations,” said Inizan.
Bridor factory investment plans
Bridor has unveiled investment plans for its factories, which manufacture products such as pastries (ready to bake, ready to prove and some ready to thaw & serve), bread (par baked and thaw & serve) and patisserie (frozen for thaw & serve).
The company’s French sites supply products mainly for Europe, the Middle East and Asia, while the US and Canada sites supply into North America and Canada.
Servon sur Vilaine, France
Bridor’s flagship production site will expand from its current 11 hectares to a total surface area of 70,000m2. New additions will include an R&D and training centre, which will be open to global partners and customers
The site is to also get a new logistics hub that should be completed within two years and will be dedicated to preparing automated orders and allow temporary storage of products before shipping. It will be able to accommodate several thousand pallets.
Louverné, near Laval, France
Already having doubled in size despite being only two years old, the site is to eventually reach 50, 000m2 as part of a 17- hectare plot of land (pictured above).
The Canadian site will expand to reach 55,000 m2 and inxrease production capacity to market traditional types of bread, baguettes and French and American pastries across North America.
Vineland, near Philadelphia, US
Bridor is developing a 35,000m2 site that will doubling its annual production capacity of croissants and pains au chocolat.