Paul Hollywood baps

Carrs Foods has teamed with The Great British Bake Off heartthrob Paul Hollywood to launch a range of ready to bake bread rolls under the chef’s name.

The partnership began after Carrs won a gold award in The Grocer’s 2014 Own Label Awards for its Tesco Toffee Loaf Cake. Hollywood, who was seeking a manufacturing partner to launch a bakery brand, consequently approached the company about working together.

Available in Waitrose now, the range comprises three packs of six rolls: Crusty Rolls, Seeded Rolls and Multi-Seed Rolls (rsp: £1.49). They go on sale in Ocado this week, Budgens at the end of September, and about 150 larger Tesco stores on 12 October. Carrs said it expected Tesco to expand distribution before Christmas, and further listings could be announced in the new year.

The format would appeal to consumers who liked in-store bakery, but wanted to be able to have fresh crusty bread at any time of the week, said Carrs. The in-store bakery morning goods category is worth £451m [Kantar Worldpanel 52 w/e 16 August 2015], with crusty bread and rolls making up 19% of this. 

Each variety of roll is made in a slightly different shape, inspired by products from Hollywood’s recipe books and designed to be easy to break with the hands. The Seeded Rolls pack has three rolls topped with poppy seeds and three with sesame. The Multi-Seed Rolls are baked with malt and rye flour, oats, sunflower, sesame, linseed and millet - three in a pack topped with seeds, and three with the seeds blended in.

The rolls are made with a dough that is slowly fermented for about 18 hours, giving a rich flavour without the addition of lots of salt, Carrs said. The supplier added that the products used a packaging technology common in other European markets, which keeps the rolls in a superior condition.

“Part-baked breads have become a very commoditised section of the market that has lacked innovation or interest,” said Carrs MD Jeremy Gilboy. “With this new ready to bake range we are creating a different product - a top-quality bread roll that consumers haven’t previously had access to in a convenient format.” 

Hollywood said the rolls would bring a “new dimension” to the bread category, attracting new audiences and enhancing sales from existing consumers of in-store bakery.

“I’m passionate about consumers having easy access to high-quality bread products,” he said. “I’m thrilled with the recipe and the final result, which offers really tasty high-quality ready to bake bread rolls that are perfect to serve across a number of different eating occasions.” 

In July, The Grocer revealed that Hollywood had also formed a partnership with Premier Foods to launch a home baking range, due early next year.