For insight into how to drive traffic to the bakery with exceptional pastries, one need only check out the innovative display cases at Hen House Market. The nine-store upscale market based in Kansas City, Kan., features the “incredible” Tippin’s Wicked Crispy Wedges, an all-butter croissant triangle dipped in cinnamon sugar, coated with caramel and walnuts, and baked to “crispy perfection.” The $1.99 price tag belies the value of a decadent treat that can satisfy the cravings of a true pastry lover.

Croissants – in case you haven’t heard – are the darling of the bakery aisle, offering unique textures and flavors all wrapped up in a neat present for your mouth. Croissants are soaring in popularity in the United States, as evidenced by new research from Sosland Publishing, publisher of Supermarket Perimeter. According to the just-released study, State of the Baking Industry, conducted by Cypress Research, 42% of retail bakeries now carry croissants – a higher percentage than donuts or bagels.

What makes croissants – and the larger category of pastries – popular is that the bakery department prospers from the ability to create unique products that can either be sweet or savory and fulfill any eating occasion throughout the day.

Even better for supermarkets is that bakery suppliers are introducing new product innovations that offer the labor savings of an easy to prepare product line.

Just announced during IDDBA 2022, Vandemoortele recently put its patented Bake’Up technology to the test by entering its authentic French Banquet d’Or pastries in a blind sensory competition held in Boston, Massachusetts. Of the 105 consumer participants who buy or eat croissants at least once a month, the majority rated Banquet d’Or Bake’Up croissants the highest. 

Crafted with clean label European ingredients for superior taste and texture, Banquet d'Or® Bake’ Up® pastries by Vandemoortele are easy to bake and easy to love—and they also happen to be the top choice for consumers.

According to its consumer study, 69% of the panel said they would buy Banquet d’Or’s authentic French pastries again and would most enjoy the perfectly flaky croissants for breakfast. In addition, 66% of consumers said croissants should be made with real butter instead of margarine.

“I could not be more proud to celebrate this achievement for our entire team. These results not only recognize our longstanding expertise, but also our commitment to sourcing ingredients of the highest quality to produce the best tasting products in the market,” says Sabine Sagaert, managing director Bakery Products for Vandemoortele. “As a family-owned company, we continue to emphasize innovation and authenticity, and this overwhelmingly positive outcome validates our values and future goals.”

Expansion trail

Groupe Le Duff and its subsidiary Bridor recently announced the acquisition of Lecoq Cuisine Corporation, a leader in North America in the production of specialty Viennese and French-style pastries. This new acquisition emphasizes the focus of Le Duff on accelerating the growth of Bridor, a leader in the market for premium frozen bakery and pastries, present in more than 100 countries and on 5 continents.

This new investment in the United States aims to support the global growth of Bridor and strengthens its current production capacities in Canada and the U.S.  The Group has previously invested more than 200 million Euros in North American production sites.  

Founded in 1991 in New York by the acclaimed pastry chef Eric Lecoq, Lecoq Cuisine manufactures and markets more than 150 varieties of premium products, in particular viennoiseries (croissants - sweet and savory; Danishes - with a wide range of cream cheese and fruits; cinnamon rolls; puff pastries; and brioches).  

Present mainly in the U.S., Lecoq Cuisine also exports to Canada and the Caribbean. The products are manufactured at the company’s production site in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The company employs 250 collaborators, and its revenue stands at $60 million (2022).

Committed to quality, Lecoq Cuisine uses only traditional French recipes and places great emphasis on proprietary manufacturing methods to offer the best products to its customers.

Such quest for excellence is shared by Bridor, which is continually innovating to develop healthy and natural products made with respect for French baking customs, and which collaborates with renowned chefs and craftsmen such as those with the Meilleurs Ouvriers de France award distinction.

 “Having followed Eric Lecoq’s exemplary career with great interest for several years, I am especially proud of this acquisition,” said Louis Le Duff, founder and chairman of Le Duff Group and Bridor. “The group’s international history is closely linked to America, which is my second home.”

Philippe Morin, CEO of Bridor, agreed.

 “We could not be more pleased to be able to incorporate Lecoq Cuisine into the Bridor and Le Duff family.  Eric Lecoq’s unparalleled commitment to excellence, coupled with the individual passion and craft that goes into every product, make us natural partners for each other.”

 “Our intense focus on excellence and innovation is matched only by Le Duff’s reputation and track record for producing high quality products and exceptional customer service throughout its almost 50-year history,” Lecoq said. “I am honored to join with Le Duff’s founder, the pioneer Louis Le Duff, and his team in exploring our next phase of growth.  Together, we will be a powerhouse in every market in which we will operate.”