Since its founders James Calder and Margaret Balfour made the fateful decision to disembark early off their Melbourne-bound voyage from Edinburgh, generations of South Australians have enjoyed Balfours Bakery’s premium baked goods.
What began with Scotch pies and Albert biscuits in 1853 now spans an impressive product portfolio of South Australian favourites. Today, Australia’s oldest bakery is renowned for its square pies, custard tarts and heritage listed frog cakes.
As Balfours celebrates 165 years in 2019, the wholly South Australian-owned business looks to the future with two new ranges designed with the contemporary consumer’s palette in mind.
Last month, Balfours introduced the Better Bite and Vegan ranges to cater for Australia’s increasingly health-conscious population while adhering to the business’ quality-first values.
“The essence of Balfours Bakery is contained within our brand values, [which are] product quality, service excellence, history and heritage, and innovation,” says Chief Marketing Officer, Erik de Roos.
“Over time, we’ve remained true to these principles and they’ve enabled us to meet and exceed South Australians’ tastes and expectations for over 165 years”.
Where the traditional meat pie and sausage roll have long-satisfied Australia’s hunger for baked goods, the new Vegan range allows the nation’s plant-based population to enjoy a taste of Balfours.
While a growing vegetarian and vegan market was the catalyst for the range, Erik says Balfours was also acutely aware of the “number of meat eaters wanting to consume less meat for various environmental and health reasons”.
He says, “the most important consideration in developing the vegan range was that we didn’t compromise on the Balfours Bakery quality and taste [and] that we created a product range that would be enjoyed by vegans and non-vegans alike”.
This consideration has resulted in a vegan friendly range spanning a curried lentil and creamy potato pie; a mushroom, kale and leek pie; a potato, leek and rosemary roll; and a French ratatouille-inspired roast vegetable past with eggplant, onion, green capsicum, potato and sweet potato.
Ironically, the future-focussed range is best served with nostalgia, pairing innovative flavour combinations with the tried-and-true Balfours pastry. An emphasis on hearty ingredients also makes for perfect winter comfort fare.
For the youngsters, Balfours has also upped the health stakes with their new Better Bite range. Borne out of a need for healthier school lunches that don’t compromise on flavour, the Better Bite line is a far cry from the age-old struggle to hide cauliflower in the kids’ mashed potato.
Instead, Balfours has opted for a traditional range of pastries “built on the success of our previous school canteen range, which has proven popular in schools over generations”. The line comprises of a beef pie, potato pie, pizza pie, pasty and sausage roll, each boasting an impressive 3.5-star health rating in adherence to school canteen standards across the country.
“Over time the classics appeared to be favoured by school canteens but who knows what tomorrow will bring as tastes and preferences become ingrained in popular culture,” says Erik.
The Balfours Bakery Better Bite and Vegan ranges are available now.