Shown above is Paris Baguette’s 100th U.S. store in New Jersey. The Korean bakery chain strives to open its 1,000th store in the North American region by the end of this decade. Photo courtesy of SPC Group

SPC, Tous Les Jours trying to make their presence felt overseas

South Korea’s leading food and bakery companies are briskly tapping into the United States headed by primary brand Paris Baguette and No. 2 player Tous Les Jours.

SPC Group, which operates Paris Baguette, said on Aug. 21 that it strived to increase the number of its U.S. stores from 139 to near 200 by the end of this year.

The Seoul-based food and bakery chain currently runs about 4,000 stores around the globe and is set to target the U.S. market as its next-generation growth engine.

“We strive to jack up the number of Paris Baguette stores to 1,000 in the North American region by 2030. Toward that end, we are carrying out various activities,” an SPC Group official said.

This April, SPC Group agreed with the New York government to help the city’s minority groups by offering training programs leading to consideration for job placement at its Paris Baguette restaurants.

The Korean brand also sponsored LPGA Mizuho Americas Open, which took place at the Liberty National Golf Club in New Jersey in early June.

Paris Baguette’s smaller competitor in Korea, Tous Les Jours held by CJ Foodville, announced Monday that it had launched its 100th U.S. store in Manhattan.

During the remainder of the year, Tous Les Jours said that it hoped to jack up the number to 120.

Observers point out that the two corporations are attempting to offer tailored services by increasing contracts with U.S. franchisees instead of directly operating restaurants.

“In the past, the two Korean bakery brands concentrated more on the Chinese market, but the focus appears to move toward the United States of late,” Korean business tracker Leaders Index CEO Park Ju-gun said.

“Both of them first waded into the U.S. market in the mid-2000s to slowly raise their presence there. But they are trying hard to accelerate the pace.”