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Manchester-based branded bakery business, St Pierre Groupe, has been awarded the Exporter of the Year 2020 by food industry bible, The Grocer.

St Pierre Groupe, a bakery business based in Didsbury, has once again received plaudits for its work in the export market.

The company, whose portfolio includes St Pierre, Baker Street and Paul Hollywood bakery brands, added The Grocer Gold Award for Exporter of the Year to its trophy cabinet after last year honoured being with the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in International Trade.

The Grocer Gold Awards, which were hosted virtually over the course of a week, announced the news on Friday 13th November, but there was no bad luck in store for St Pierre Groupe.

Judges praised the business for its pioneering approach to business in America, launching not only a new brand in the US, but a totally new product category. The company launched its St Pierre brand in the states just five years ago and the US now accounts for 60% of the brand’s volume.

Success on the other side of the Atlantic has also led to extraordinary growth for the group, which has doubled in size in the past 2 years, even hiring 23 new colleagues since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. The recruitment drive coincided with impressive UK growth, deepening UK distribution for the company’s brands with new listings across retail and wholesale channels including Tesco, Ocado, NISA and Booker.

The St Pierre Groupe portfolio encompasses 77 products across its three brands, listed in more than 35,000 stores globally. The approach to merchandising that has worked so well in the States – with Eiffel Tower stands adorning supermarket aisles across the country, is also being rolled out in other territories in a bid to emulate similar success. Marketing activity is now underway to support the sales activity taking place in Ireland, the UK and the Middle East.

Paul Baker, founder of St Pierre Groupe says, “Winning the award for exporter of the year is testament to the hard work of a fantastic team. We dream big and we chase our goals. There’s real momentum for all three of our brands at the moment – the group as a whole is up 30 per cent year-on-year, with St Pierre up 33 per cent, Baker Street 35 per cent and Paul Hollywood 59 per cent. We are on track to exceed £100 million turnover in 2020, with a further goal of £150mn by 2022.

“That means we are keeping up the pace, capitalising on the momentum we have worked so hard to build and really increasing our marketing efforts in all territories. It’s a difficult time for so many businesses and we do realise how fortunate we are. As such, we have also doubled-down on our efforts to support the wider industry and local initiatives throughout the pandemic. Since March we have donated over $1mn worth of product to charitable causes, globally.

“When we started out in export in 2012, we could have never imagined the success we’ve achieved. Now the pressure is on to maintain it. The opportunity is there and we’re making key hires to help drive the US branded proposition. We’re a Manchester business taking French products to America – it might not sound like a recipe for success, but we’re definitely doing something right!”

St Pierre Groupe invested in new headquarters, moving into bespoke offices in Kingston Towers business park in Didsbury in March of this year. The business, which is the UK’s fastest growing branded bakery supplier, recently expanded its marketing department to build its brands both in the UK and US market. As well as a new International Marketing Director, the business also hired Brand Manager, PR & Comms Manger, Social & Digital Communities Manager and Brand Activation roles since the beginning of the year.

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