Showcasing baking expertise at the 2019 ICMB and presentation of project Muse

Showcasing baking expertise at the 2019 International Convention of Modern Bakery and presentation of project Muse

What is the project Muse ? Sylvie Amar was invited to attend the round table discussion at the 3rd International Convention of Modern Bakery. The goal was to present our vision of the bakery of the future.

The Agency, has been producing trend books on baking and pâtisserie around the world since 2014. Acting as a speaker for the China Bakery association and advising Cyprian bakers, Zorbas on their brand strategy since 2017. The Agency will present its latest bakery project. It is a co-production between the Cordon Bleu Institute and Europain, at the EuropainLab. This bold (production and sales) Proof of Concept will be showcased live on a 300m2 stand throughout the entire duration of the show.

Project Muse was selected as the winning project to be showcased at the EuropainLab in 2020 in a competition involving 3 teams of students. Our Agency mentored the students on this project right through to the finals to ensure that their entry could be converted into a real-life concept at a trade show.

It was a whole new experience for these budding young bakers, pâtissiers, cooks and managers. After multiple meetings and partnership seeking activities, we and the EuropainLab team have developed a solid project that lives up to our expectations in terms of showcasing a vision and what a bakery of the future could look like.

Project Muse: a genuine digital, vegetable and eco-based offering

The food on offer will feature quality seasonal produce. The menu will be small – a choice of 3 sandwiches made to order in front of the client (including one vegetarian sandwich), 3 vegetable slices, pumpkin soup made by Eric Briffard, a savoury cake (made from ‘upcycled’ croissant pastry scraps) a croque-monsieur.

For deserts, we opted for a typical bakery offerings: croissants, two pain au chocolat, brioche, a vanilla slice, a pear tart, an apple tart, two types of chouquettes (made from ‘upcycled’ beer dregs), two muffins (plain and orange flavoured), a pain perdu (made from ‘upcycled’ leftover bread) and a galette des rois as the product of the month for January.
There are therefore no salads, tomatoes, strawberries or raspberries in a move to protect the environment. Simply a focus on common sense and good seasonal produce instead. And, learning to be creative with seasonal produce!
Chef and chief coordinator Olivier Boudot from the Cordon Bleu Institute with Christophe Girardet of the bakery chain Victor & Compagnie and Adeline Chazelle of Moulins Viron.

International focus is on the customer experience

The customer experience has been totally redesigned with customers picking their own products and wandering freely around the area. Visitors can amble through a 60m2 sales area and 130m2 multigenerational tasting area. There are no tills (customers pay roving sales staff for their goods or use a click and collect station).

Customer flows will no longer move in queues but branch out in a star-like configuration. Five two-person sales teams will assist customers, helping them to choose their products and processing payments by credit card or mobile phone. Muse is a truly cashless venture.

Customers will be able to access all the products directly and serve themselves. To make products more appealing, we have done away with the traditional linear display cabinets in favour of an army of sales staff. Information on every food product can also be obtained via QR code – either in the form of edible labels on the products themselves (on bread in particular), or labels on the packaging.

Every QR code provides information on the price, ingredients, nutritional values per 100g or portion, allergens of all kinds…. Including for the 10 different bread-based products that will be made and sold on site.
Chief coordinator Sylvie Amar with Thomas Margerin from Cash Systems International, and David Plasgura from

The spotlight is on vegetables/green trends at every stage.

This takes several forms. Not only is some of the food designed for vegetarians, but the entire stand is also very green in keeping with national and international trends. We have combined typical restaurant and coffee shop trends with patisserie and bakery trends. Muse has of course adopted the different types of seating and atmospheres that have become the norm in retail outlets.

Since packaging is a major concern worldwide today, this is not something that the Muse food concept has overlooked. Most product packaging has been removed. And then customers are encouraged pick up the products they want themselves and put them in a box. You get a much better idea of the amount of packing you use when you actually handle products!

Under each product display cabinet, for example vegetable slices or soups,  is the appropriate packaging (cardboard snack box or paper cup). The customer can also choose the utensils they need. And a bag is supplied if they want to take the food away.

Chief coordinator Sylvie Amar with Tiziano Vergassola from CostaGroup, Jean-Christophe Soulier from Solia and Isabelle Cougart from Cafés Richard

Production in keeping with Project Muse’s ambitions.

The multidiscipinary nature of bakeries means that it’s necessary to structure our food labs in a different way and to acquire new expertise to produce food efficiently using ergonomic processes that take on board food constraints.

The RFE team designed a 100m2 showcase production area that not only meets hygiene, safety and working standards and regulations, but that also makes use of modern technology to simplify processes. Then, the teams also put the onus on sustainability and ecological considerations (low energy requirements and digital orders).

It will be possible to visit the production area during the show by appointment. It comprises a lot of windows so that those who want to, can see what is going on inside.
Chief coordinator Gilles Castel from Réseau France Expert with Olivier Boudot from the Cordon Bleu Institute

Project Muse is designed to inspire every part of the bakery trade and to test existing international solutions live on the French market.

It will be presented at the Europain Trade Fair from January 11 – 14, 2020, Hall 1 Stand A04