Bridor's post COVID-19 strategy

French bakery manufacturer Bridor said: "More than ever, the COVID-19 health crisis has put health and safety at the heart of consumers' concerns, whcih is why we've put together our nine pillars, we hope these will help other businesses and bakers too."

Research & development

Research & Development continues to be a key pillar for the Bridor brand, ensuring that future products offer consumers products that are nutritionally interesting, manufactured in a high-quality and safe environment.

Responsible, local and French sourcing

The lockdown period has provided an opportunity for the business to refocus its priorities on products from national and local sources, meaning simpler and safer food for many.

For Bridor, offering healthy and quality products is a priority. This is why all suppliers are IFS, BRC or FSSC 22000 certified. Bridor works with all suppliers to carry out annual inspections, while offering corrective actions, where required, to safeguard production.

Effective tracing, from the field to the plate

Transparency was already an important criterion for customers before the crisis and the COVID-19 health crisis will put even greater emphasis on effective tracing and transparency of the ingredients used. 

Bridor guarantees full traceability for all of its products. Most materials are clearly labelled (PDO Charentes-Poitou, organic, Label Rouge). And, thanks to Bridor’s end-to-end traceability which includes numbered and labelled batches and tracked pallets, etc. This means all products can be traced back to the source. This application is verified by both national and international bodies.

Production on secure sites

The food and drink industry has always operated under strict safety guidelines, and this has been amplified during the COVID-19 crisis as consumers demand greater scrutiny on health and safety. At Bridor, all sites are certified (IFS and BRC) and audits are carried out over more than 200 days per year. In addition, facilities are automated using cutting-edge technology, including 3D vision sensors, automated lines, mast cranes and storage.

Food safety courses are also organised for all employees to raise awareness of its importance, and the on-site regulations all personnel are required to follow.

Strict health controls

To ensure all employees are safe to work, strict hygiene and safety conditions have been implemented. For example, a check-list is used for each employee before entering any of Bridor’s premises, including temperature checks, while all employees are required to wear a mask or visor to protect themselves and minimise any risk of contamination.  

In addition, Bridor employees constantly track potential dangers using tools such as X-rays, metal detectors and pH readings with more than 2,500 products tested every day.

Permanent protection of products

Storage and packaging are also incredibly important to provide a secure and safe supply chain, free from the risk of transmission.

Bridor’s supply chain guarantees that all primary packaging comes from suppliers with IFS, BRC or FSSC 22000 certification.  Its ultra-automated frozen food storage platform requires little human presence, thus offering greater food safety, while the final packaging provides further efficient protection.

Freezing for optimal food safety quality

Once a product is packaged, conserving its products in optimal safety conditions are an integral part of the Bridor manufacturing process. This is why the company freezes its products to guarantee perfect food preservation.

In addition, Bridor recommends that its products are baked in the oven at 180°C to protect and ensure a healthy and high-quality final product.

By taking full control of the cold chain from A to Z – from the production line to preparation including full control over production, packaging, storage and the vehicles that transport the final products to its customers, Bridor is safeguarding every step of the supply chain.

Cooperation with retailers and customers

Beyond the heightened health and safety regulations and procedures, the COVID-19 health crisis is driving retailers to go further in their product assortments to meet new consumer demand. To support evolving consumer preferences, Bridor’s qualified technical managers are trained to offer advice on baking, storage and hygiene. 

In addition, the introduction of new services – including “2 Heures Maxi’ (Two hours maximum), an innovative app that enables hotel owners to schedule their baking, grippers for artisans and bakers, and a health check-list with a reminder of best practices are helping to support Bridor customers to maintain and deliver the same high-quality and hygienic standard that is now synonymous with the brand.

Be attentive to consumers

As government’s around the world begin to ease lockdown and businesses resume operations, Bridor continues to monitor consumption habits to understand the ongoing impact of the health crisis, and the evolving preferences impacting product lines.

To do this, Bridor takes part in annual consumer panels driven by independent laboratories to monitor quality perceptions of Bridor products. Qualitative and quantitative studies are also undertaken to better understand today’s consumer expectations and anticipate those of tomorrow. This is enabling the company to build on its new product development with agility. For example, a recently launched 100% baked baguette that meets requirements related to COVID-19.