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30 Years of Gourmet Fare à la Française

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On 16 May 2013, the feast day of , patron saint of bakers, Délifrance -celebrated its 30th birthday. Since its foundation, the company has constantly -renewed its range and adapted it to meet the expectations of its customers and -consumers, in order to conquer ever new markets. Today, Délifrance offers a huge -selection of innovative gourmet products, confirming its position as a major European supplier of bakery products à la française Jean-Manuel Lévêque, Managing Director with responsibilities for bread, pastries and international business, is delighted by the ‘significant’ birthday: “30 years in the business of manufacturing bakery products on an industrial scale are proof of the trust that our customers and consumers place in us.” As a subsidiary of the NurtiXo group (Grands Moulins de Paris), Délifrance offers high-quality, industrially-manufactured bakery products, including, inter alia, premium brand ‘Maison Héritage’ and the ‘Panitaly’ Italian range. With 20 production sites, 3,300 employees and over 1,000 products, including breads, pastries, brioches, patisserie and snacks, Délifrance is today one of Europe’s market leaders for bakery products à la française. The origins of Délifrance are to be found in the ‘Grands Moulins de Paris’ group, established in 1919. The parent company opened what was, then, the world’s largest flour milling facility in 1921. In 1978, the first pre-baked, deep-frozen baguette was launched; an innovation which, a year later, brought in its wake the acqui-sition of the (SSS). The Délifrance brand came into being in 1983 and, little by -little, was taken on by the international subsidiaries. Whilst, at first, Délifrance offered only a very modest range of baguettes and pastries, the range was relatively quickly extended for the retail food and restaurant trades. The company soon expanded beyond France’s borders into the Benelux countries. It was here that the first Délifrance cafés and bakeries came into being. Today, there is something like one Délifrance sales outlet for every 100,000 inhabitants. Ambitions had also existed as long ago as 1983 to expand beyond Europe. A master-franchise licence for Asia established the brand as a pioneer of French bakery products in the Far East. In Singapore and Hong Kong especially, Délifrance today enjoys high levels of recognition and popularity. One step at a time, they wove a network of 19 sales subsidiaries in various European and Asian markets, which deliver to cus-tomers in a total of 60 countries. This set-up is seen as a strength, a way of getting to know the particular consumer habits and the individual local tastes in detail and of being able to offer a suitably -tailored selection, as well as specific indivi-d-ual products. This closeness to the customers also makes it possible to provide a wide range of services, ranging from professional development to support with the presentation of goods. The purchase, in 2004, of ‘Appétit de France’, a company specialising in oven-ready, deep-frozen viennoiserie pastries, allowed Délifrance to improve the quality of their range and to set the standards for providers in this area. In 2007, the acquisition of the ‘Krabansky’ company, with their bread-production plant in Dunkirk, amounted to a starting pistol for Délifrance’s expansion into the field of ‘farmhouse bread à la française’. In 2009, there followed an investment of more than £25 m in a line of stone ovens; the ‘Maison Héritage’ range of premium farmhouse bread was born. Today, the product range under this brand consists of selected types of bread and pastries, all made using the finest French wheat varieties and high-qual-ity ingredients, including butter from Brittany and eggs bearing the ‘label rouge’. Manufacture here takes its cue from the artisan bakery: the dough is kneaded slowly, layered very gently and baked in a stone oven. For the ‘Panitaly’ assortment in 2012, too, a large selection of original Italian breads was included. Manufactured near Milan, this range is firmly rooted in the traditions of simple, local restaurant food. The dough is allowed to rise naturally for 16 hours, which gives the loaves a light -centre, complex, aromatic flavours, a crisp crust and a long useful life after it has been baked. On top of that, all Délifrance bakery products benefit from the many years’ experience of flour production at ‘Grands Moulins de Paris’. During production, every item goes through between 70 and 100 different checks. Délifrance is the first company in France to have been awarded the ISO 22000 multi-sites certificate. Part of this commitment to food safety involves the constant aim of enabling sustainable growth and of systematically addressing nutritional concerns in product development (limiting salt content, cutting out artificial colourings and flavourings, as well hard fats). Délifrance collaborates regularly with scientists and health experts in order to be able to keep their customers informed in a transparent and responsible manner. The company has surrounded itself with respected partners, so as to be able to bring together, in their workshops, industrial technology and taste science in an ideal working partnership. As a result, the Pourcel brothers (both starred French chefs) have assisted in the development of items in the ‘Maison Héritage’ range, and created three types of small bread roll with innovative recipes. Tony Lallement (Pâtissier at the Elysée Palace and in the famous Hotel Royal Monceau, Paris) has provided the inspiration for numerous developments in terms of the patisserie products. Recently, they have also begun a new collaborative project with starred chef, . By taking part in the international sandwich competition, which is to be held for the 10th time in 2014, the company wants to anchor firmly in people’s heads the notion that the sandwich does not have to be just a simple snack between meals, but can equally represent a complete, balanced meal that offers a perfect combination of gourmet pleasures and taste. www.delifrance.com