Distinctive, stylish and so delicious, every one of our baked creations has garnered a loyal following, turning BreadTalk into an award-winning boutique with over 1000 different breads, buns and cakes created, each endowed with its own unique name, personality and flavour. The brand turned eight in 2008 and to celebrate our milestone, we unveiled our new bakery boutique concept at Singapore's City Link Mall.
BreadTalk revolutionised the concept of bakeries with our distinctive sleek and clean lines and signature 'see-through' kitchens showcasing the expertise of our bakers. Nevertheless, having come of age and now exuding a familiarity with our consumers, we wanted to subtly introduce the warmth of close friendships into our stores. Clean-cut, sleek and bright, the new store concept exudes an understated artistic flair with fascinating wall murals featuring BreadTalk's new inspirational 'Happy Chefs' characters portrayed in different nationalities. These serve as a tribute to our chefs the world over for their dedication, creativity and hard work in kneading out wonderful pieces of artwork. The centrepieces of the stores are the bread display cases. These are designed with display bases, cut out like facets of a diamond, bringing out our freshness and splendour of their jewels - the freshly baked aromatic breads. The new stores, while maintaining our trademark open-concept kitchen takes on a more homely feel and recreates the atmosphere of a friend's kitchen. Equipped with new state-of-the-art bakery equipment specially imported from Germany, Spain and Japan, the taste, aroma, quality and texture consistency of our breads are further enhanced. New staff uniforms with French and Japanese influences and biodegradable and environmentally-friendly packaging for all our products complete the entire new look. The new concept stores will be rolled out gradually in Singapore and overseas to further reinforce a cohesive branding effort.
As part of this revamp, over 100 new breads were created by our Research and Development ('R&D') Team in consultation with top chefs and food consultants from France, Japan, Spain and Taiwan. We have continued to retain our top selling products such as Flosss, together with a new product range to keep the brand fresh and surprising. In fact, as an innovator and creative force in the bakery business, our R&D team, works hard to create new products every six months, always injecting an element of fun and humour into our products. Characteristic of our ability to remain in sync with current trends and the latest happenings around the world, we created Flosss 1 and Ferraberri, in commemoration of the first ever 2008 Formula 1™ SingTel Singapore Grand Prix race held in Singapore and OBUNMA, an allusion to the biggest political event of 2008, the US Presidential Elections.
Our franchise network continued to grow, especially in the the PRC and Indonesia where the most number of new franchises were opened. We also established a store in Seoul, South Korea which was met with great enthusiasm with never-before-seen queues forming outside the bakery. We expanded our footprint in Philippines, opening stores in Cebu as part of our strategy to extend the brand reach from the mainland into the provinces and islands.
Our efforts to create global brand cohesiveness saw us hosting the first ever International Franchisee Conference at the Meritus Mandarin Singapore. The conference was attended by over 50 BreadTalk brand owners, marketing and operational personnel from our franchise network. Through the conference, we were able to exchange ideas on brand development to ensure the BreadTalk brand leaves an indelible mark across the globe.
As a fast growing international brand, BreadTalk has pursued a more active Corporate Social Responsibility programme, seeking to give back to society, making a difference to the lives of people in need. Thus, witnessing one of the world's most horrifying disasters - the Sichuan earthquake on 12th May 2008 - galvanised us into action. To show our solidarity with the people of Sichuan and to play a part in relief efforts, BreadTalk created 'Ping Chuan Xiong' 平川熊 (Peace Panda) - Panda bear shaped bun with four different expressions symbolising the terror of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake. The proceeds raised went to the Chinese Embassy and Red Cross Society's 'China Earthquake Appeal Fund'.