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Belgian La Lorraine exports Turkish bakery products to the world

11 February 20208 min reading

Belgium-based bread and croissant manufacturer La Lorraine continues to invest in the Turkish market which it penetrated 5 years ago. The company positioned Turkey as a base for North Africa and Middle East operations. It also exports Turkish pastries to European markets.

Burak Deniz General Manager of La Lorraine Turkey

Impression: Mustafa YAĞMURLU The bread market whets the appetite with a global volume of 220 billion dollars. As we always have bread in each meal, Turkey is one of the most bread consuming countries in the world and therefore it has particular importance for the market. Turkey is the 4th biggest bakery products market in Europe with a total value of 39 billion liras. Belgium-based bread and croissant manufacturer La Lorraine realized this potential and made its first investment in Turkey 5 years ago in Manisa province. Its investments in Turkey have exceeded 100 million Euros by now.

Burak Deniz, the General Manager of La Lorraine Turkey, hosted journalists at the production facilities of the company in Manisa Organized Industrial Zone and he said that they believe in Turkey's potential and they will continue to invest in Turkey. Deniz stressed that they have been introducing quality and innovative products to Turkish consumers and now they have started to introduce many Turkey-specific food products with La Lorraine touch to abroad

La Lorraine, which positioned Turkey as a base for North Africa and Middle East operations, continues to grow with bread exports as well as marketing Turkish pastries in foreign markets. La Lorraine has attracted considerable interest in the Turkish market with croissants, tarts, and doughnuts. Pastries filled with potato, spinach, cheese and roll pastries that are popular in Turkish cuisine are also exported by the company. La Lorraine products are going to be sold in North Africa this year, after being marketed in Iraq, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Cyprus.

3.5 TONS OF BREAD PER HOUR La Lorraine started to produce baguette type bread with a single production line in 2016. Now the plant has four production lines including two new lines that have been started n 2019. Now it can produce 1.5 tons of pastry and 4 tons croissant in an hour. The capacity to produce the bread, the main product of the La Lorraine brand, is 3.5 tons/hour.

[caption id="attachment_3023" align="alignnone" width="660"] Burak Deniz, General Manager of La Lorraine Türkiye hosted us at their production facility in Manisa.[/caption]

During our visit to hi-tech facilities, company officials updated us about the turnover of the group: La Lorraine Bakery Group was expected to end 2019 with a turnover of 950 million Euros. Their target for 2020 is 1 billion Euros. Although La Lorraine is a newcomer to the Turkish baked products sector, it has been growing rapidly. The growth rate for 2018 had been 30 percent and for 2019 the same rate was expected to be achieved.

Burak Deniz, the General Manager of La Lorraine Turkey, talked about the operations of the company during the press tour: "We offer services for HORECA customers (hotel, restaurant, cafe) via 17 regional directorates and more than 10.000 sales points. We also have a partnership agreement with Migros and we offer products in 870 Migros shops that have "M Fırın" concept.

La Lorraine Bakery Group is a 100% Belgium based family company operating in flour products, cake, and bakery industry. The company exports its products to more than 25 countries. It has 13 production facilities and employs 3150 people. La Lorraine Turkey serves Turkish consumers with approximately 500 workers and its logistics network. We penetrated the Turkish market in 2014. We offer delicious and high-quality products of European cuisine but we also pay attention to the needs and expectations of the Turkish market. Our factory in Manisa started its operations in 2016. It has an area of 58.000 square meters and a daily production capacity of 80 tons. We support local farmers here. We procure yeast, wheat and all other materials for our products locally. La Lorraine Bakery Group is expected to end 2019 with a turnover of 950 million Euros. Their target for 2020 is 1 billion Euros. Although La Lorraine is a newcomer to the Turkish baked products sector, it has been growing rapidly. The growth rate for 2018 had been 30 percent and for 2019 the same rate was expected to be achieved.

Loaves still constitute %90 of bread consumption in Turkey. In fact, Turkish people are ready to spend more for quality products. But this was not the case for the bread because there were no companies strong enough to break the dominance of loaves. Experts say that a sufficient amount of glucose taken by carbohydrates is vital for the brain. La Lorraine conducts studies and develops products to enable people to consume the highest quality bread that meets daily calorie intake that they need according to their level of activity. We encourage daily activities with global and local events and we advise our customers about the necessary amount of products to be consumed. We also share the calorie information of our products.

La Lorraine Turkey Product Development Manager Merve Burcu Akbulut gave information about the production process in the facility: "We produce artisan bread with the same attention and passion of a baker. We offer bread that is manufactured by value-added materials and our expertise. We produce bread varieties for every taste, from whole wheat to rye-flour, bran bread, caramelized onion bread, sunflower-seed bread as well as traditional sourdough bread. We don't add preservatives to extend shelf life. All our products stick to local recipes and traditional production processes. Our product portfolio also includes thin and crunchy baguettes, buttered croissants and pastries. In addition to these, we regularly follow global trends to offer new products to consumers. For example, onion bread has become popular more than we expected.

We produce baguette, little bread, sandwich bread, Tiger bread, Ramadan pita, fat bread, toast and hamburger bread, croissant, pastry, and doughnuts. Local bagels, buns and pastries, artisan breads of sourdough, rye and whole wheat, as well as doughnut and croissant products, are the most popular ones. We also redesign some products according to the taste of the Turkish people. For example, we have an Italian-style sandwich bread called Rustik. We decrease sour yeast concentration in this product and make it suitable for Turkish palate."

NO DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE FIRST AND THE THOUSANDTH PRODUCT La Lorraine Factory Manager Serkan Kocaarabacı said that they achieve uniform quality thanks to the production line of 100 meters: "We obtain the same quality for the first and thousandth product. Turkey is a crucial market for us. So we shape all investments and strategies accordingly. We use locally produced yeast and wheat. We produce the highest quality based bread of Anatolia, age-old sourdough bread, and multi-grain based village bread. We also have special products like Tiger bread and Ramadan pita. We will continue to add the most delicious local products using new technologies.

We accept all materials received only after quality checking. When a truck-load flour comes to the factory we take samples from 5 bags and test them in different ovens before allowing them to the facility.

We put an end to product loss with the Bake Off system. 5 million loaves of bread are wasted in Turkey daily. We send frozen products to our sales and service points and thanks to the Bake Off technology, those products are prepared in the amount needed. So we both prevent waste and offer fresh and delicious products. Bake Off technology freezes the bread when it is 80% baked. The remaining 20% baking is completed at sales points when needed and fresh products are offered to customers.

220 BILLION DOLLAR MARKET According to a study by The Federation of Bakers, the size of the global bread market is 220 billion dollars. According to the same study, the European bread market has a volume of 32 million tons and per capita bread consumption is 50 kilograms/year. In Germany and Austria, bread consumption reaches 80 kilograms while the consumers in the United Kingdom and Ireland eat only 32 kilograms of bread in a year. This figure is 36 kgs for Spain and 95 kgs for Bulgaria. Turkey is the leading bread consuming country in Europe. There are nearly 1000 facilities producing bread and bakery products in Europe. Bulgaria, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and Finland are the leading countries in terms of the number of facilities. 70 percent of bread are sold without a package.

TURKISH BREAD MARKET According to Turkish Bakers Federation figures, there are 20 thousand active bakeries in Turkey. There are 24 thousand food manufacturers and 56% of them produce flour or flour products. 91 million loaves of bread are produced in bakeries each day.

Turkish flour products market is the 4th biggest in Europe with a volume of 39 billion liras. Packaged goods make only 1 percent of total bread production. This figure reaches 75 percent in Northern Europe. But it is 15 percent in Southern Europe which is similar to Turkey in terms of climate, lifestyle and dietary habits. Per capita bread consumption decreased from 200 kgs to 185 kgs recently.

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