Paul Hollywood bakery sets sights on US food-to-go and Far East amid expansion

By Holly Williams, Press Association Deputy City Editor
St Pierre Groupe is launching its first food-to-go range in America as it looks to boost its fast-growing US business.

The bakery group behind Paul Hollywood’s bread range has revealed plans to gobble up a slice of the US food-to-go market and also has the Far East in its sights after securing investment to expand.

St Pierre Groupe, which recently rebranded from its former name Carrs Foods, is launching its first food-to-go range in America as it looks to boost its fast-growing US business.

Founder Jeremy Gilboy said the US arm generated half of its £69 million in sales last year and is set for further rapid growth, with the “massive” food-to-go sector offering a significant opportunity.

He is also looking at tapping into the Far East as St Pierre increasingly expands its international footprint – a far cry from its humble beginnings as a British bakery in 1986.

The firm has just raised £6.7 million backing from BGF and Lloyds Bank for plans to accelerate expansion and snagged David Milner – the former boss of posh crisps brand Tyrells – as its chairman to help drive growth.

It comes after St Pierre enjoyed a 40% surge in underlying earnings last year to £7 million and is forecasting turnover to double to £150 million in the next three years.

Mr Gilboy told the Press Association the US expansion and food-to-go range is the firm’s primary focus for the moment.

“The food-to-go market in America is just so massive – there’s so many convenience stores and petrol forecourts in the US,” he said.

He added that the American love of all things brioche in recent years has helped spur growth of its St Pierre brand across the Atlantic.

Here in the UK, the group also trades as Baker Street and has the Paul Hollywood range, with its products stocked in 20,000 stores across Britain out of 35,000 worldwide.

Mr Gilboy said the Hollywood range is set for 50% growth this year as the popularity of the Great British Bake Off TV star shows no sign of waning.

The group is launching some new Paul Hollywood products under the range in the next few weeks, according to Mr Gilboy.

But for now, the management is focused heavily on its international plans.

He said: “There’s so much for us to go for – we see a big opportunity to grow into a far bigger business.”