Bakery chain La Rose Noire has made its return to mainland China market inspired by the country’s booming frozen pastry industry after the country removed its stringent COVID-19 control measures.
Sinodis, the subsidiary of the global food group Savencia Fromage & Dairy in China has partnered with La Rose Noire to reintroduce its products into the Chinese market in April this year. The brand built its presence in the local market from 2003 to 2016. In 2016, the brand was shunned and disappeared from the Chinese market.
Denis Vergneau, General Manager of Sinodis said, “The bakery and pastry industry in China has changed dramatically in the last 4 years and COVID has accelerated this transition.” Vergneau highlighted an increasing demand for chocolate and cream by Chinese consumers during the pandemic, both of which are basic ingredients found in La Rose Noire’s products. This inspired the first batch of products launched in 7 categories that include tarts, baskets, ice cream cones, chocolates, macarons, bread and Danish pastries.
Gerard Dubois, Founder and Chairman of La Rose Noire said, “In recent years, we have seen the rapid development and enormous potential of the frozen pastry market in China, as well as the demand for finished and semi-finished high-end frozen pastry products in the industry.”
According to a recent research report by Dongguan Securities, the market size of China’s bakery industry has steadily increased, especially the frozen pastry market, which has skyrocketed from Rmb 500 million (US$72.6 million) in 2008 to Rmb 11.1 billion (US$1.6 billion) in 2021.
Dubois added, “By partnering with Sinodis, we believe that through diverse sales channels, we can bring La Rose Noire’s rich and high-quality products to our customers and jointly contribute to the long-term development of the healthy bakery industry.”
In 1991, the first La Rose Noire Patisserie was opened in Hong Kong with a 30-seat restaurant and cake shop. It later grew into a dessert supplier of over 700 bakeries, with pastry and chocolate products distributed in 5 continents over 57 countries and regions.
La Rose Noire also places great importance on sustainability and social responsibility. The brand has developed its signature product, a single-origin 69% dark chocolate, in Davao, a 100-year-old traditional cocoa-growing region in the Philippines, to support local farmers and communities. Dubois explained, “Instead of buying cocoa from Ghana or Africa, we decided to build the factory and grow cocoa in the Philippines and allow local farmers obtain skills as well as make money.”
La Rose Noire has also launched the LRN CARES program, replacing all its packaging with 100% biodegradable alternatives and covering its rooftops with solar panels.
It has also created its own La Rose Noire Foundation in 2016 to sponsor schools and community projects.
La Rose Noire long term goal is to penetrate deeper into 2nd tier cities in China, while also exploring fusion of local Chinese flavors and ingredients into western pastries.