Ladurée Macaroons Going Global?

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Ladurée, Ladurée, Ladurée…the most well-respected name for macaroons in town – Paris that is, but if President David Holder has his way, people all over the globe will be demanding home-town versions of the colorful, perfectly crafted creations. His goal, “to introduce this century-old name in the main capitals of the world and develop new business opportunities.” In this global economy it’s no wonder the Holder Group wants to exploit the earnings potential of the famous name, but the million dollar questions is, will it work?

IMG_2421Full disclosure, I don’t love macaroons. I only recently started to like them. I find them fussy and a bit lacking in full-bodied flavor for a dessert and sometimes not worth the calories, but I am nonetheless drawn to the shops (the shop on 16 rue Royal was originally decorated by Jules Cheret) like a moth to the flame. No matter what location you find macaroons in, they are always displayed either in neat little rows or on pyramids where the bright and cheery colors scream “happiness” at you. One does not normally think of the French as happy people (and I am a quarter French), so I always imagine that buying their favorite color or flavor macaroon is their way of grabbing a little slice of happiness. I wholeheartedly appreciate the “art” of the macaroon and I delight in seeing them lined up so perfectly in the pastry shop windows. My A-type personality really loves the “orderliness” of the whole experience. Ladurée has ALWAYS had the best presentation of their pastries and most beautiful packaging!

IMG_3166Recently, I have been spreading my culinary wings and tasting macaroons from various patisseries around Paris and finding some serious competitors to the Ladurée brand in terms of presentation, quality and taste. Most are succeeding at grabbing the attention of the younger generation and many are also making inroads into converting Ladurée “old guard” customers into new clients. I suspect the Holder Group would like to capitalize on its name recognition and pounce before other brands too, become household names and enter the global marketplace. If Ladurée does go global, will the locals still see them as “French” or will they abandon the brand because it is too commercial?  Will the Ladurée macaroons become the worldwide standard macaroon like the Big Mac is to burgers? Perish the thought of anything French being mentioned in the same sentence as McDonald’s! Sorry for my faux pas!

IMG_3167To me, part of why I love the Ladurée brand is that I can only get it in France. The “Frenchness” of the confectionary treat is a huge part of the attraction. If I were to encounter a cart (similar to the one see above at the Charles de Gaulle Airport) in Hong Kong, I would smile, but walk on by empty-handed with the following thoughts racing through my mind. Would they be made in Hong Kong? That would be disturbing. Would they still be made in France and shipped over? Who wants “old” macaroons? I guess the people in Hong Kong might love them and buy them, but I wouldn’t. Needless to say, David Holder doesn’t care if I love or hate the idea; he is in the business of making money. I don’t fault him one little bit! Go for it I say, let the markets rule. C’est la vie as they say in France!

10 Comments
  • Suzy
    Posted at 22:34h, 02 June Reply

    I was just discussing with family tonight how you can’t really get good macaroons here in Colorado. Maybe he will put in a store here? I agree though. It’s a shame with places that are so specific to one area expand. They lose their specialness I think.

    • Weekend In Paris
      Posted at 08:02h, 05 June Reply

      Hi Suzy,

      It seems we can’t “always get what we want” in the sense that we would LOVE to be eating a fresh, awesome macaroon right now from Ladurée but then again, would we think it tasted as good if we bought it here. How much of the enjoyment is in the location? Time will tell.

      I am headed back to Paris next month and can’t wait to try some new pastry shops…there are so many to choose from!

      Cheers,
      Priscilla

  • Ana Silva O'Reilly (@mrsoaroundworld)
    Posted at 05:51h, 22 May Reply

    How interesting – personally, I have been really put off my Laduree’s expansion. They are everywhere, which makes them less special (in my personal opinion) – this obviously means they are not baked freshly. I like the idea of only having macaroons in France – not in every airport or department store around the world. PS. And prefer Pierre Hermé 😉

    • Weekend In Paris
      Posted at 12:04h, 23 May Reply

      Hello Mrs. O Around the World!

      I totally agree with you. I think they are much less special since the massive expansion. They have a right to make more money, but we also have the right to boycott the globalization. I love Fabrice Gillotte and Pierre Hermé and will for sure keep trying more and more to find others I like.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to write in your opinion. It means so much to me.

      Please keep reading!

      Cheers,
      Priscilla

  • Elizabeth Giroir
    Posted at 15:02h, 21 May Reply

    These make a GREAT gift to bring home to someone special!

    • Weekend In Paris
      Posted at 19:37h, 21 May Reply

      Yes they do!!!
      Xo,
      Priscilla

  • anniedm778
    Posted at 14:46h, 21 May Reply

    I like macaroons, though, being mostly sugar, they tend to make my blood sugar bottom out and leave me hungry! lol But, they are a pleasant treat. My first thought was to wonder how they would ship them in order to prevent them getting crushed or cracked. They would surely need to be well padded. Or would they be made locally in each city by Laduree employees.

    • Weekend In Paris
      Posted at 19:35h, 21 May Reply

      Love your comments! Thanks for reading and please come back!

      Ladurèe does make great macaroons!

      Cheers,
      Priscilla

  • Monique
    Posted at 14:10h, 21 May Reply

    I am also not crazy in love with macaroons but found a place that has some divine ones in Toronto. I will be trying Laduree on my upcoming trip to Paris and I agree with you, what makes one want to have Laduree macaroons is the fact that they are “exclusively” French. Going global I think will make it too mainstream and will lose that kind of “exclusive” feeling one gets when talks about Laduree.

    • Weekend In Paris
      Posted at 14:13h, 21 May Reply

      Hi Monique!
      You are going to TBEX in Toronto?!!! Me too! Let’s make a plan to meet up!
      Super excited!
      Email me: priscilla@theweekendinparis.com
      Cheers,
      Priscilla

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