Warburtons bread has gone on sale in 270 branches of French supermarket Monoprix - as well as our own House of Commons.

In Monoprix, white, wholemeal and seeded Warburtons loaves will take on market leader Harry’s, which is sold on its American heritage and dates back to World War Two, when American soldiers introduced sliced bread to the French.

Warburtons is being marketed in France as ‘the everyday bread of the English’. The baker said it was not fazed by the competition.

“Having a 140 year history as a British family baker should give us the grounding and mark of authenticity that is crucial in France,” said new business development director Damien Ghee.

The company believes the French appetite for British-style sliced bread is set to grow as working hours become longer and lunch hours shorten.

However, it has had to adapt the bread it sells in the UK to make it suitable for the French market. Counter-intuitively, that has meant extending the shelf life.

Sliced bread is eaten less frequently in France than in the UK and is generally considered a ‘planned emergency’ purchase. Warburtons has therefore had to develop loaves with more than twice the five-day shelf life of a typical British loaf.

Warburtons has also signed a deal to sell its gluten-free bread in the cafés and restaurants of the House of Commons. The move was supported by the All Party Parliamentary Group on coeliac disease, led by Labour MP Gordon Banks.