The French company has doubled the baking capacity of its fresh viennoiserie operation by adding ovens, cold-storage space and a finishing room.
The finishing room features a new filling/decorating line, which enables fillings to be added to products after they are baked, making the business more flexible to customer demands.
Délifrance has also reshuffled a number of key personnel. Andrew Cole has been appointed as UK managing director, replacing Ian Dobbie, who has become group-wide vice-president for sales, marketing and innovation.
Cole retains his role as operations and supply chain director for Délifrance’s Southall site in north London. Nicolas Bouric remains operations manager at Wigston.
Marketing director promotion
Former UK marketing director Stéphanie Brillouet, meanwhile, has been promoted marketing director for northern Europe and North America.
Délifrance produces ‘thaw and serve’ and fresh-prepacked viennoiserie products at Wigston. These include croissants, pains au chocolat, pains aux raisins and chocolate twists. The firm also has a bread-making operation at the Leicestershire site.
Cole said: “The viennoiserie market has boomed since we first launched the operation in 2008. This growth has been driven by a range of trend, including a better awareness of French products, increased demand for breakfast and convenient snacking products, and higher expectations on quality.
‘Unique to the UK market’
“However, fresh prepacked viennoiserie – products that can be bought in shops in flow-wrapped packs – is unique to the UK market. We’ve got a lot of interest from our international Délifrance colleagues to see how these products do.”
On his promotion, Cole said his role would change “quite substantially” in some respects, and “very little” in others.
“I retain responsibility for the UK operations and supply chain function, which was my previous role,” he explained. “That’s everything from the day-to-day operations to the more strategic thinking.
“The added dimension that the managing director role brings is the opportunity to be the figurehead for Délifrance in the UK, but also get involved in some of those less operationally specific activities that require thinking beyond what’s happening next week, next month, and maybe even next year.”