PAUL bakery

Major French bakery brand hitting SA in 2016

Famous Brands has made a first-mover strike into a new QSR category, striking a deal to bring renowned French bakery-café chain, PAUL, to South Africa.

The family-owned PAUL chain of cafés was established in 1889 in France, and specialises in serving French baked goods, such as speciality bread, crêpes, pastries and cakes.

PAUL serves over five million customers a month in its 400-plus bakeries across France, as well as the 127-plus stores in 27 other countries across the world.

Under the new partnership, Famous Brands will be building five PAUL stores in the country over the next five years, with potential to expand the brand further into Africa.

The first flagship store will open in the country by the end of 2016, the group said.

The label will fall under Famous Brands’ “premium” portfolio, following two years of courting the chain.

Famous Brands already owns and operates several bakery and café brands in South Africa, such as Bread Basket, Mugg & Bean, Europa and Fego Caffé.

“Research confirms the continued growth in this country of the higher LSM and middle income market, with consumers constantly looking to indulge in premium brands that offer quality,” said Famous Brands CEO, Kevin Hedderwick.

“Currently in the South African context, there isn’t another bakery-café operating in the space that PAUL occupies and hence we have an opportunity to be first movers in this category, with the most recognisable French bakery-café brand in the world,” he said.

The partnership follow news that global coffee chain, Starbucks will be opening in South Africa for the first time in 2016.

Competing food group, Taste Holdings, will be handling the Starbucks brand in the country, with the first store expected to open in the first half of 2016.