Home News Korean bakeries with French names outwit their French counterparts

Korean bakeries with French names outwit their French counterparts

by Celia

In South Korea’s competitive bakery market, local brands Paris Baguette and Tous les Jours are solidifying their dominance as international counterparts struggle to maintain their foothold.

French bakery chain Brioche Dorée recently exited the South Korean market, according to industry sources on Tuesday. The company, operated by Le Duff, entered South Korea in 2013 through a partnership with Daewoo Development Co. Initially boasting 20 outlets, financial challenges led to a reduction to just six stores by last year, ultimately resulting in a complete withdrawal from the country.

Similarly, Contran Cherrier, another French bakery chain, made its debut in South Korea in 2014 but has failed to compete effectively with local competitors. While its presence has grown marginally from 26 to 32 stores since 2021, it still lags significantly behind homegrown giants Paris Baguette and Tous les Jours, which boast between 1,000 and 3,500 outlets nationwide.

Contran Cherrier, led by renowned French pâtissier Contran Cherrier, maintains a presence in major cities like Paris, Singapore, and Tokyo. However, its expansion in South Korea has been limited compared to its success in other international markets.

The influx of upscale foreign bakery chains into South Korea followed a government ban on large business groups entering the bakery industry in 2013. Despite the entry of brands like Brioche Dorée, Contran Cherrier, Pierre Herme, Kukuruza, Lady M, and Mont St.Clair, these international players have struggled to establish a significant presence in the country.

Industry experts attribute the success of local brands like Paris Baguette and Tous les Jours to their ability to match the quality of foreign competitors while offering competitively priced desserts. Paris Baguette, owned by SPC Group, boasts 3,420 stores nationwide, while Tous les Jours, operated by CJ Foodville Co., operates 1,320 outlets.

Capitalizing on the popularity of Korean cuisine abroad, both Paris Baguette and Tous les Jours are aggressively expanding their presence overseas. Paris Baguette has seen its international boutiques increase from 400 in 2018 to 530 by the end of last year, riding the wave of global interest in Korean food trends.

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