The century-old French bakery chain Paul launched its first baking plant in Taiwan yesterday, aiming to boost sales by 10 percent to 15 percent a year by offering more traditional French breads and pastries.
Baoluo Co Ltd (邦保羅), which is in charge of Paul’s operations in this country, said it has invested more than NT$10 million (US$337,000) in the plant — the chain’s second in Asia — which began operations along with a patissiere in Taipei’s Neihu District (內湖).
The Neihu outlet is the chain’s fifth store in Taiwan.
“In keeping with our optimistic view about Taiwan’s bakery market, we hope to offer more bread products following the launch of this plant,” Baoluo chairman Danny Chen (陳建豪) told a press conference.
Introduced in Taiwan in September 2008, Paul used to sell products that were semi-produced in France and then shipped to Taiwan to be baked, giving the company good control over quality, but a limited variety of products, Chen said.
Paul will now be able to supply products from its new plant now, so it can sell more of the types of bread it makes in France, Chen said.
The new plant may help raise the proportion of bread and snack sales for the bakery, from the current level of between 40 percent and 50 percent, with the company also targeting a growth of 10 percent to 15 percent a year for overall sales. The rest of its sales come from its tearoom operations.
Chen said the company is planning to reduce the size of some products to fit Taiwanese tastes and lower prices.
The company plans to establish five more retail locations in the Greater Taipei area over the next five years and is forecasting overall sales in Taiwan to show a 30 percent growth during that period. It plans to focus on expanding independent stores, instead of branches in department stores, to build brand awareness, Chen said.
Paul’s first move outside of France was to Barcelona, Spain, in 1985. Its international network now includes more than 40 bakery-patissieres around the world.
Additional reporting by staff writer