Hur Young-in, chairman of SPC Group, has set up a bridgehead to penetrate the 44 trillion won (US$38.73 billion) Chinese bakery market. The group announced on March 28 that it has completed the construction of SPC Tianjin plant, which will be used as a key production base for the Chinese bakery market.
In an opening ceremony of the plant, Hur expressed full expectations for the group's business in China. "The Chinese bakery market is worth 44 trillion won and has immeasurable potential to grow," he said. "We will supply high-quality products based on the SPC Tianjin plant and grow Paris Baguette into a popular brand in China."
SPC Group invested a total of 40 billion won to build the plant, located in the Tianjin Economic-Technological Development Area. It is the largest of the 12 overseas production facilities owned by SPC Group and can produce 390 products, such as processed foods and sauces as well as main breads and cakes. From next year, the Tianjin plant will produce dormant paste by inhibiting fermentation at ultra-low temperature to that it can be stored for a long time in a fresh condition to supply all over China.
Paris Baguette, which entered the Chinese market in 2004, has rapidly expanded the number of stores since it started a franchise business in 2010. It took nine years to open the 100th store and another six years to open the 200th store, but it only took a year and a half to open the 300th store.
The SPC Group plans to further expand its business in China using the Tianjin plant. Hur stressed the importance of overseas business by saying, "Overseas business is a new growth engine. We will increase the proportion of global business by more than 50 percent until 2030 through export and expansion to local market. The SPC Group's sales in China have surged nearly twice in four years, from 126.5 billion won in 2014 to 225 billion won last year (preliminary).