Brioche, as a category, has been in growth consistently over the past three years. In 2018, the category was worth $108mn, but by the end of 2020, the brioche sector had more than doubled, with category value standing at $290mn.
There are myriad reasons why the market has shifted so dramatically. Part of it is thanks to category leader, St Pierre. An authentic, French product, St Pierre launched into the US in 2014 and has steadily invested in building brand awareness, driving trial and creating a new and exciting category in US bakery. This combination of sustained activity now puts its brand value in excess of $100mn and secures its place as America’s favorite brioche brand.
In fact, Nielsen data (March 2021) shows that St Pierre is key to driving value for retailers and is responsible for a third of the market. St Pierre has driven the Brioche category with 63 percent brand growth year-on-year, whilst the rest of the category has grown at 61%. However, if you note that in the past year, the bakery category in which brioche sits has only grown by 8%, it’s clear to see the opportunity in offering consumers an upgrade from bread to brioche.
Research shows that 34% of consumers are buying brioche every time they go grocery shopping. The message here is clear – if you’re not offering brioche, you’re watching money walk out of the door. Other brands are taking note of St Pierre’s success, with new ranges and products from renowned brands including Sara Lee and Nature’s Own getting in on the action.
However, the St Pierre brand story, authentically-inspired brioche offering and favored taste profile has secured its place as a category leader. Now, with competitors snapping at its heels, the brand is set to reveal a new look, to continue driving its momentous growth.
Paul Baker, founder of St Pierre bakery comments, “Our new look is a natural next step in our brand evolution. We’ve secured a space for St Pierre in shopping baskets nationwide, through key distribution with US retailers and unique merchandising in the instore bakery. The time is right for the brand, before we embark on our next set of growth plans, to reveal our new and improved look. As with everything we do as a brand though, it is informed by insight from consumers and retailers”.
In March 2021, the brand carried out thorough consumer research to understand product recognition in its current format. Before seeing logos or pack images, 23% claimed to have purchased St Pierre, but once they were shown the pack, this increased to 40%.
Baker continues, “Anecdotally, the feedback from consumers was that whilst St Pierre is their favorite brand, they didn’t recognize the name on its own and many referred to us ‘as the orange brand’. As a result, working in collaboration with our key distribution partners, we will be rolling out a number of updates to our branding and packaging.”
The main difference, which will be seen on shelf from August this year, is St Pierre’s bigger, bolder and crucially, more impactful logo design. Inspired by the café board menus and street signs of Paris, the new logo works alongside the Eiffel Tower illustration to really highlight its Parisian heritage.
In consumer research, a third of brioche consumers said that it was important to know where brioche comes from and furthermore its French recipe makes them more likely to buy. For St Pierre consumers, that figure doubles to 60% on both counts.
Baker adds, “The same insight also highlighted that St Pierre’s authenticity is the second most common reason for buying, topped only by its quality. So any rebrand had to drive home these points for us. The new logo most definitely does that and the proportions of the new design also make our name much more prominent.
“COVID-19 changed the way people are shopping too, and our new look will cater to those shifts in the consumer psyche. We know that 40% of US shoppers are spending more on their regular food shop than pre-pandemic and 48% have actively looked to recreate restaurant dishes at home.
“With consumers looking to try something new and willing to put their hands in their pockets for quality that transports them to a favorite restaurant, or overseas holiday, retailers have a unique opportunity.
“Our brand now works even harder to highlight our authenticity. The change to packaging helps to drive purchase, giving improved on-shelf standout, which along with our clever merchandising options will allow retailers to capitalize on shoppers’ desires to try new experiences”.
The new-look packaging has also improved the ‘product’ window, increasing product visibility by up to 10% across the St Pierre Bakery range. St Pierre Bakery will be communicating the rebrand to the trade throughout grilling season, ahead of rebranded product landing on shelf from August.
In the consumer space, the brand has a series of retailer activations and consumer-facing campaigns running over summer to increase brand awareness. The aim is to achieve a steady build in awareness to help support the next phase of brand evolution in September.Paul Baker explains, "We've increased the size of our marketing team four-fold in the past 12 months, knowing that rebrand was in the pipeline. We're also strengthening our dedicated US team, to ensure that we are continuously improving the brand experience for all our partners. So far, by listening to our customers - both trade and consumer - we've grown the brand to be the number one Brioche brand. The opportunity in America is huge and establishing our new look in the hearts and minds of consumers is the next step toward harnessing it. We're also following it with new products later in the year, our first brand HQ Stateside and increased distribution across the country. The future is looking bright - watch this space!"