With the growth set to continue, research firm Global Industry Analysis Inc. projects the global market will exceed values of $485 billion by 2020. In line with the trends, the UAE has also experienced an increase in the number of French bakeries, with the opening of La Patisserie des Rêves, Aubaine, Pierre Hermé, Dalloyau and others.
Edwina Salvatori, account director, SOPEXA Middle East, said: “French pastry is more popular than ever, as proven by the number of new outlets opening across the country. In recent years, we have noticed a surge in the popularity of healthy, organic and all-natural baked goods, with a particular emphasis on French products, which are traditionally the finest, freshest and tastiest.”
She added: “We have seen an increased demand in the UAE for French pastry chefs possessing the traditional skills that have been central to French baking techniques for hundreds of years. Drawing on this inspiration, some well-known chefs have codified their art in innovative and creative baking methods and classic recipes.”
The findings were part of a roundtable forum held in Dubai by SOPEXA on behalf on the French Ministry of Agriculture and conducted in partnership with BNC Publishing. The event brought together top pastry chefs, dessert specialists and leading foodies from France, Japan and the Middle East to provide a glimpse into the biggest factors influencing the taste of pastry across the Arab world.
“Pastry trends evolve quickly – there are changes every six months,” said Chef Nicolas Bacheyre, executive pastry chef, Un Dimanche à Paris. “For me, every new trend appears first in Paris before spreading all over France, then Europe, then the world.”
Global culinary hub
As a global culinary hub home to a range of nationalities, the Middle East has inspired chefs to put their creative skills to the test by making the most of local ingredients.
“French pastries are adapted here. Everyone uses classic recipes and then gives them their own twist,” says Elizabeth Stevenson, chef director, Lady Battenberg. “There is so much going on in Paris that it influences people internationally. There are a number of successful projects that have taken elements of these influences and successfully applied them to another culture.”