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.

"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.