French flour maker Francine is set to diversify into the chilled, ready-made home pastry market in the first quarter of next year.

The move is not the company’s first departure from its core market, having moved into bread-making preparations in 2008.

Francine is scheduled to launch its own brand of pizza, puff and shortcrust pastries in supermarket outlets at the end of February-early March 2011.

However, unlike the roll-out pastry of current French market leaders, Herta, Marie and Croustipâte, Francine has adopted a distinctive approach with a pastry ‘ball’ presentation.

“The feedback we received with this product showed that many French consumers have a strong attachment to so-called traditional bakery methods in which the act rolling pastry has a central place,” a Francine spokesperson told just-food today.

Francine’s research had shown 80% of French households are still equipped with rolling pins.

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“The key advantage with Francine’s product pastry balls is that it will allow consumers to shape and flatten dough to their specific requirements,”the spokesperson added.