Sylvia Macdonald

Unifine Food & Bake Ingredients has signed a sole UK distribution, sales and marketing agreement with pastry-maker Pruvé.

The deal, which takes place with immediate effect, will see Unifine responsible for the whole Pruvé ambient range.

Unifine Food & Bake MD Simon Solway told British Baker: "It is very exciting. We are also looking for businesses in the UK that we can purchase outright. The Pruvé distribution agreement is a core fit and helps with our growth aspirations."

Pruvé makes pre-formed puff pastry, pastry shells and a range of sweet and savoury products, such as mini-tartlets, vol-au-vents, choux, crystal shells and cream horns.

Solway continued: "Customers want consistent quality, but also convenience, which makes this an excellent synergy. We have the fillings and they have the cases. We have always had joint customers and now they can benefit from a one-stop shop.

"This deal also fits in with our strategy of added-value patisserie lines. We go to both retail bakery: via craft, plant and supermarket, and to foodservice. We have some major customers and like to think we are a niche player but our customers also demand innovation and our parent company in the Netherlands, Royal Cosun Group, is good at providing support."

Unifine also has its own UK technical facility, which provides technical specifications and back-up. Solway acknowledged that there were obviously skilled bakers who make such bakery products, but said Pruvé was high quality and gives consistency.

Solway claimed: "We were first with cupcakes and now whoopie cakes. We like to be inventive because NPD is what keeps growing the market."

Unifine Food & Bake is part of Dutch Royal Cosun Group, which makes food ingredients for fine pastry, foodservice, ice cream and industry. Key products are pastry mixes and fillings, cream stabilisers and mousses, fruit fillings and glazes, chocolate, fondants and toppings and flavourings.

Pruvé is part of Dutch-owned Smilde Bakery, which owns several international brands, including Pruvé, that operate in countries throughout Europe, making patisserie and bakery products.