Belgium-based pastry manufacturer Pidy has announced plans to increase its presence in the UK, with a particular focus on the bakery and cafe sectors.

Recently appointed general manager of Pidy UK, Robert Whittle said he aimed to double the company’s overall growth in the UK over the next two years, through a “rigorous” programme of research and development and new product launches.

He said one of the main problems for bakeries and cafes is a shortage of skilled workers combined with time-pressures and often a lack of space or resources.

“In 2010 we plan to address this by launching bakery and cafe-friendly kits which can be assembled in minutes to create eye-catching ‘window candy’ using fruits, custards/fondants, chocolate,” he explained.

The independent family firm currently manufactures a range of ready-to-fill pastry products for the six different sectors: manufacturing and industrial; hotel and restaurant; contract and event catering; cash and carry; bakery; and retail.

The UK growth will be driven through targeted product launches such as edible coffee cups and bakery and cafe-friendly kits such as Tarto Presto, launched earlier this year, which contains pastry tartlettes and crème patissière.

New products to launch before the end of the year include: Trendy Shells - a range of round and angular pastry cases; Artisan Quiche - a rustic update on an original product; and Sable Breton - which can be used as a base for patisserie and desserts.

Pidy has also launched a brand new website, which includes downloadable information about each individual line, as well as serving suggestions and recipes.

Whittle joined the company following the sale of his business, Foodafayre, which manufactures filo pastry cups, tortilla baskets and associated products.