Chef Middle East has entered an exclusive distribution partnership with French brand St. Michel for import and foodservice distribution in the UAE and soon, in both Oman and Qatar. This announcement is the distributor’s second strategic partnership in recent months.
The St. Michel range for professionals, which has been developed for restaurants, hotels, catering and bakery professionals, offers different solutions and options based on pastry expertise and know-how.
The story in the professional world started with a French pastry icon: the madeleine. Today, St. Michel are proud to be among world leaders when it comes to the creation. The brand’s ambition is to become the preferred partner for desserts and snacks.
“The St. Michel family bakery was founded in 1905 and we’ve had time to get to know our recipes inside out. Today, our pastry chefs continue to uphold our traditional know-how, and pass it on day-by-day to the younger generations,” says Antoine Combes, Middle East area manager, St. Michel.
“We use this know-how to do all the mixing, kneading, beating and baking ourselves across our eight production sites in France, because we believe that a biscuit can only be truly delicious if it’s well-made. At St. Michel, we love good food, and our goal is to share our French sense of excellence: that’s why our products are consistently good,” he adds.
“St. Michel’s tradition of excellence is based, first and foremost, on common sense. We follow our instinct for good and doing our best: we only use cage-free eggs and French wheat, and we choose not to use palm oil. We’re a traditional brand with a love of all things delicious and are always keen to reach out, explore and expand our culinary repertoire to invent or re-invent new biscuits. Our traditional madeleines and shortbread biscuits still provide a moment of pleasure every day.”
Combes commented on the partnership saying: “Chef Middle East is recognised as one of the most professional distributors in the region, with a strong focus on customer service. This is what St. Michel has been looking for, as we want to be close to our customers. We’re, not only a pastry partner, but aim to become a solutions provider for chefs, that’s why it’s very important to have close relationships with our customers, through our distributors. Moreover, from the first discussions with the Chef Middle East team, it was clear that we shared the same values of humility, pragmatism, professionalism, team spirit, proactivity and responsibility.”
“This collaboration allows us to keep upscaling our offering through bringing in new traditional products of high quality to the market. In today’s fast-paced environment, it’s crucial for companies that initially grew organically to look for new ways to drive collaborative innovation that delivers on what their customers need today, and in the future,” says Stasha Zdravkovic, bakery specialist at Chef Middle East.
“The St. Michel range is ideal for hotels, breakfast menus and buffets, as well as for afternoon teatime by simply offering chefs convenient options and quality, portion-controlled products. We’re happy to announce that the products are currently available in stock in the UAE market and the range will shortly be extended to Oman by end of the year.”
Zdravkovic notes that, while bread continues to be an integral food item in the UAE menu, many changes have been observed in the bakery category over recent years. Health awareness continues to rise, artisanal products have gained momentum in the bakery industry and Instagram-friendly food products are in demand.
According to a recent research, the Middle East bakery product market size is expected to register significant growth during 2020-2026. The estimated sound revenues are on the back of the rising evolution of the hospitality industry.
Increased hospitality infrastructure has generated demand for baked products, for serving breakfast is estimated to leave a positive impact on market growth in the coming years. Additionally, the increased introduction of Western flavours and product innovation have attracted a major segment of the population and are anticipated to raise the consumption of bakery products, proliferating the enormous growth of the market in the upcoming six years.
Despite the current impact of Covid-19 on hospitality operators in the region, both companies foresee thriving growth in the market for the years to come, and a great opportunity to provide authentic and popular French bake-off pastries with ranges that offer freshly baked products, avoids waste and is adaptable at chefs’ convenience, know-how and creativity, with a consistent quality product to decorate, garnish, re-invent, or use as is.
Chef Middle East has highlighted that it looks forward to developing its Bakery category further, and its product portfolio, maintaining excellence in supplying premium products with service standards to remain as the preferred one-stop solution foodservice distributor in all the markets it operates in.
The distributor caters to more than 2,000 customers, from 5-star hotels and world-class dining, to international chains and concept restaurants in the UAE, Qatar and Oman. The company also provides its services to customers in locations such as the Indian Ocean, Africa and the CIS.