Délifrance UK finishes £30M investment at former Premier site

By Laurence Gibbons contact

- Last updated on GMT

Délifrance has completed work on its production facility in Southall
Délifrance has completed work on its production facility in Southall

Related tags: Bread

Délifrance UK has completed its £30M investment at its Southall bakery in a bid to boost capacity at the former Premier Foods Le Pain Croustillant site.

Included in the investment was a new stone baked bread line, an innovation lab and a 500-pallet dry goods warehouse.

The investment has created 40 new roles at the site acquired for an undisclosed amount in 2009.

Délifrance UK planned the “major expansion”​ and development of the Southall site because the acquisition gave it the opportunity to concentrate on supplying larger volumes of premium, added-value breads, its md Ian Dobbie said.

“Our long-term strategy involved investing heavily in our manufacturing processes to achieve this and we are delighted to unveil the results today ​(October 20),” ​Dobbie said.

‘Creating new brands’

“We now have the facilities to provide the full solution from developing concepts, creating new breads and trialling products on our stone baked line, through to large volume production.”

The line is the first to incorporate robotic scarification – the art of marking bread – in the UK, the firm claimed. It will facilitate large scale production of multiple varieties of rustic bread utilising the latest technology in dough lamination, weight regulation and control systems, it added.

The stone baked bread line features an Italian Serpentino stone which offers a better heat transfer than traditional stone said to guarantee an authentic, stone bake finish with a crisp, rustic crust and an open texture, it added.

With the capability to produce large volumes of multiple products on one line, added value breads incorporating cheese, fruit, vegetables, herbs or seeds are now part of the extended Délifrance rustic portfolio.

This will help Délifrance tap into a surge in interest in baking, with the market now worth £612M, Dobbie claimed.

Délifrance acquisition timeline

  • 2004: Viennoiserie and brioche manufacturer Appétit de France
  • 2006: Krabansky
  • 2008: A 3,000m​manufacturing site in Wigston, Leicester
  • 2009: Le Pain Croustillant from Premier Foods
  • 2009: Sofrapain
  • 2012: A Milan bakery

‘Surge in interest’

“With the surge in interest in baking and customers being as discerning over their sandwich carrier as their sandwich filling, we are experiencing an unprecedented demand for affordable, rustic breads. Our new line and modernised bakery will satisfy this demand by supplying both retail and foodservice customers with ranges which replicate the key characteristics of artisanal breads, but in large volumes.”

Délifrance’s new product range is made from French wheat and light rye flour mixed with a matured and cultivated levain starter.

The range includes four different rolls – white, sesame seed topped, poppy seed topped, a malted wheat and a ciabatta roll as well as a Parisien, a baguette and a half baguette.

Watch our exclusive video interview with Dobbie to get an inside look at the site in operation.

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