Focus on the pastry and chocolate-making sectors, in Paris, Nord Villepinte, 8-12 March…
It is a fact, many consumers can’t resist pastries and chocolate! Europain & Intersuc, the world’s largest bakery and pastry shop, will be drawing international players from the sugar and cocoa industries to Paris-Nord Villepinte from 8 to 12 March. Five days of meetings, exchanges and business focussed on these two “star” sectors. “Pastry-making has always been part of our culinary heritage. It has been brought to the forefront in recent years as a result of enormous media attention, but it is the familiarity and delicious taste of pastries that the French cannot resist”, explains Claire Heitzler, head pastry chef at the distinguished Lasserre restaurant in Paris. Promoted by acclaimed chefs, taught in cooking courses, broadcast in TV programmes, displayed in innumerable outlets (shops, restaurants, concession stands, luxury hotels, concept stores, etc.), recognised at international level (International Confectionery Art Competition, Coupe du Monde de la Pâtisserie, etc.), attracting thousands of apprentices (to the point where they constitute the most popular training course in the food trade)… these two sectors are the embodiment of indulgence par excellence! And this is no longer frowned upon in a society where eating has become synonymous with enjoyment.
The 5000 artisan pastry-making businesses in France (mostly small firms with fewer than 10 employees) had a total turnover of 1.5 billion euros in 2010 (source: Confédération Nationale des Artisans Pâtissiers), and are they are constant seeking to innovate. With unrivalled knowledge of the market, Europain & Intersuc give them the means to surprise and amaze in order to appeal to ever more consumers. A few figures give an idea of the worldwide craze for sugar and chocolate:
THE COCOA PASSION
83% of French people eat a piece of chocolate at least once a week, which represents an annual budget of around €268. Considered to be a “safe
product” that is both comforting and accessible, the little brown bean is a must for families and a sure winner for professionals. “The latest trend in terms of cocoa is to select single-origin beans rather as we do for wines, from very different regions of the world and even particular estates”, explains Tanguy Roelandts, President of the French Chocolatiers and Confectioners Federation.
Like cooking a few years ago, pastry is the new way to shake off the blues! Mini-desserts, single products, “light” cakes, modern designs, temporary collections … bakeries and cake shops now play an essential part in consumer’s daily lives: they are the principal retail food outlets in France.
“Our job appeals to consumers’ imagination”, admits Frédéric Lescieux, President of the French Confederation
of Artisan Pastry, Chocolate, Confectionery and Ice Cream Makers and Caterers. ”Thanks to all the media
exposure, the sector is booming: nearly 7000 apprentices have been trained this year.”
Europain & Intersuc, where all the trends are to be found
The trends in pastry-making and chocolate-making are set mainly by French creators: it is the famous “French touch” that inspires professionals all over the world. “Pastry-making abroad is strongly influenced by the French school, particularly in recent years with the development of international competitions. At the same time, the “French touch” is evolving as well as the frontiers are being opened up and we are discovering new products!”, explains Claire Heitzler. Europain & Intersuc have cracked the secrets of this virtuous circle and offer visitors concrete solutions:
• Lighter creations, anywhere, any time
New ingredients are appearing (fruit and spices are replacing sugar), textures are lighter (mousses, foams, etc.), formats are shrinking (mini-cakes, verrines, morsel-sized portions, cafés gourmands, etc.). The entire profession is taking a new look at the old standards and coming up with unusual, take-away products that don’t give you a guilty conscience. “Eating is not a neutral act”, claims Tanguy Roelandts. “The concept of “indulging within
reason” is the result of people being increasingly aware that a product must be tasty without representing a risk for their health. A piece of chocolate is not just a pleasure to eat, it also contains omega 3 and 5 fatty acids, magnesium, potassium, iron, carbohydrates, phosphates, fluorine and mineral salts!”. This multitude of properties is an incentive for pastry- and chocolate-makers to be even more creative, so they are now looking for ways to keep in step with the revolution. That is why, in 2014, Europain has chosen to place the emphasis on new product ranges and innovative equipment that will enable artisans to become even more autonomous and proactive.
• Design and collections for perfect matches
While design has long been a standard feature of pastry- and chocolate-making, ephemeral collections are a new way of enticing today’s increasingly impulsive customers, who are constantly on the lookout for new culinary sensations. Sugar and chocolate are presented in different ways throughout the year and some even go further by adopting the single-product concept. An example is Jonathan Blot, who heads Acide Macaron in Paris. This
chef has started to make small macaroons that can be popped into the mouth whole. In addition to producing about 5000 macaroons a day in a wide spectrum of colours, he regularly invents new flavours in “limited editions”.
Europain & Intersuc, the challenge of innovation
To enable professionals to keep up with the latest trends, Europain & Intersuc offer them the products and equipment of nearly 800 exhibitors. Intersuc, in particular, features the latest ingredients, equipment, packaging and decorations that will help boost the sales of confectioners, chocolatiers and ice-cream makers. A full range targeted to their specific needs, enabling them to create new recipes and attract new customers.
• The Intersuc Collections
The Intersuc Collections will reward professionals exhibiting in 3 categories: finished products, ingredients and decorations. A jury of experts will choose 4 winners, whose products will be showcased in the Innovations and New Products Area for the duration of the exhibition.
Europain & Intersuc are undergirded by a set of strong values: passing on of know-how, doing business in a friendly way and insisting on quality of work. From training to setting up a business, from economic development to innovation, the exhibition has earned a reputation as a partner of choice in helping pastry- and chocolate-makers to succeed. “Europain embodies the values of pastry-making: sharing, curiosity, exchanging, sensitivity and simplicity”, concludes Claire Heitzler.
The Europain competitions: staging the latest trends
For Tanguy Roelandts, “a trade cannot excel without competition”. Visitors will be able to admire the world’s best chocolatiers and confectioners in action at the International Confectionery Art Competition and France’s most promising young talents at the French Schools Cup. Two exceptional competitions that aim primarily to be sources of inspiration and creativity for professionals.
• The International Confectionery Art Competition
Sponsored by DGF and EKIP, the fourth International Confectionery Art Competition is an international pastry-making contest that features mixed teams. The contestants, who hail from 16 different countries, have 20 hours to produce a variety of delicious creations. “What do I expect from these contests? A good deal of excitement, cohesion between the men and women, technical prowess and… surprises!” explains Pascal Niau, MOF Pastry-Maker 1979 and chairman of the jury. “The competition develops the candidates’ technique but also their spirit. It is a way of growing, while remaining humble.”
• The French Schools Cup
The fourth French Schools Cup, which was initiated by Europain, in partnership with the Lempa and sponsored by GDF Suez, will take place in a competition area devoted to promising young talents. Teams of three apprentices, which must include at least one woman, will help to promote the training institutes that are preparing tomorrow’s bakers and pastry-makers.