While its parent company, PreGel, has established itself as a leader over the last 40 years in the specialty desserts industry in Italy and Europe, 2009 will mark PreGel AMERICA’s inaugural year into the U.S. pastry market. This is no small feat considering the company has only been selling its gelato and frozen yogurt ingredients in the American market since 2002. With quality at the forefront, the company believes it has the products and support to allow it to compete with current pastry providers.
The PreGel Pastry and Confections Line will introduce over 25 new pastry products and recipes that utilize the company’s existing gelato ingredients. The products will include ingredients for entremets, chocolates, cakes, tarts, pies, mono portions, mousses and more. As for the existing ingredients, PreGel AMERICA explains using one of its fruit pastes, “Say a customer already carries our Raspberry Fortefrutto® paste: we now have recipes for its use in cheesecake, gananches and mousses.” PreGel AMERICA’s many flavors such as Pistachio Sicilia, Forest Berries and Cacoapat, in addition to its Arabeschi,® such as Coffee Crunch and Cocco Snack, have proven to work well with both pastry and gelato. The diverse application of PreGel products is not only a draw for new customers, but also allows existing customers to consider expanding their product lines without the expense of adding new products.
“I am confident we can easily compete in the U.S. pastry market,” says PreGel AMERICA President and CEO Marco Casol. “Adding a pastry line is a natural progression of our current product offerings. Today’s pastry chefs are seeking solutions for keeping production high despite staff and budget cuts. Our products cut preparation time while maintaining quality.”
Over the last 12 months, PreGel AMERICA’s Research and Development, and Corporate Pastry Departments have spent long hours developing and testing the products and recipes. Frequent tastings, reformulations and focus groups with high-level chefs and industry professionals have all played a part in preparing the Pastry and Confections Line for its official launch late spring 2009.
Heading up the pastry initiative is Corporate Pastry Chef and two-time winner of the National Bread and Pastry Championships, Sadruddin Abdullah. “PreGel AMERICA’s ingredients represent the full range of product diversity. Each ingredient has a multitude of product applications. Beyond that, the range of ingredients runs the gamut of the imagination, dramatically increasing the possibilities. This is what is so exciting about PreGel AMERICA’s pastry launch. We truly have something for every segment of the industry,” said Abdullah.
In addition to providing general directions, it is the recipe book that PreGel’s Pastry Team has been developing that will truly bring the line full circle. The book will feature specific pastry categories with 2-3 recipes each. The recipe book will be given to PreGel customers and will be updated as PreGel develops new recipes. The recipes will either be sent or available for download from the company’s corporate Web site.
PreGel AMERICA’s pastry exploration doesn’t stop there. To see that the line fully succeeds, the company is continuing with its commitment to education and is offering its prospective and existing customers various pastry classes and programs. Serving everyone from beginners to pastry masters, the classes and programs are designed to teach pastry fundamentals, new techniques and recipe development with PreGel AMERICA’s products. The new pastry classes are free of charge. The classes offered are:
Chocolate Artistry – a class that teaches the fundamentals of truffles and bon bons, tempering chocolate and making a chocolate showpiece.
Pastry & Frozen Desserts – a class focused on the fundamentals of baking, including basic cooking techniques, proper sanitary procedures and understanding a production schedule. Students will learn how to develop a pastry line (with or without an oven), concept development in desserts and experience hands-on pastry production.
Sugar Artistry – a class focused on the development of sugar show pieces that uses PreGel’s Magic Sugars to teach students the techniques of pulled, blown and poured sugar, as well as the components of showpiece construction.
Decorative Techniques – with garnishes ranging from chocolate curls to fruit pieces, Decorative Techniques is a class that teaches students many different decorative techniques to increase product value through visual appeal.
Specialty Frozen Desserts – a class that allows students to understand the classification and concept of frozen desserts. Students receive hands-on production experience working with specific equipment and tools, and with PreGel AMERICA’s gelato and sorbetto ingredients.
Targeted at serving all facets of clientele with its educational programs, PreGel AMERICA will also cater to top-level chefs with the introduction of its 5-Star Chef Series. The series will bring in pastry chefs at the top of their craft to teach a 3-day class to other highlevel pastry professionals for a fee. The series will kick off in fall 2009 with its first class taught by Chef Laurent Branlard, executive pastry chef at the Walt Disney World® Swan and Dolphin Resort and the only two-time World Pastry Team Champion. Other renowned pastry chefs slated to participate in the 5-Star Chef Series include Dimitri Fayard, Stephane Treand, Norman Love, Frederic Monti, Stephane Glacier, Olivier Bajard and John Pierre-Wybauw.
In addition to its 5-Star Chef Series, the company also plans to have Pastry Ambassadors in the U.S. regions it serves: East, Central and West. The ambassadors will provide ongoing demonstrations in their regions to assist and familiarize local chefs with PreGel AMERICA products and the latest techniques in pastry.
For PreGel AMERICA, pastry is the next frontier, and the company is pulling out all the stops to make a great entry into the market. PreGel AMERICA’s approach to pastry is a simple equation that the company believes will bring great success as it’s the same equation the gelato and frozen yogurt side of the business has been using since 1967: Superior Products + Education + Unparallelled Support (and a touch of passion) = Success.