Europain, France’s big bakery show, took place from 6-10 March in Paris. As British Baker went to press, most stands were reporting good business and the aisles were busy with visitors. The show now takes place alternate years and follows on five months after IBA and two months before the Italian show, SIAB, this May, in Verona. Previously the shows took place by agreement on a three-year revolving cycle.

Healthy products, easy-to-clean hygienic equipmment and ergonomic safety were to the fore. Trends included a big rise in the use of dark chocolate, which is perceived as healthier, and waffles consumed at all times of the day.

Jean-Pierre Crouzet, president of the official craft bakers’ organisation, UIB, confirmed times were challenging: "We have 15 million bakery consumers per day, but on average each is spending a few less cents, so it makes cash flow more difficult."