About Lesaffre Group




Lesaffre sets the global standard for yeast and other fermentation products. The company designs, manufactures and markets solutions that promote baking, nutrition and health.

A family group based in northern France, Lesaffre has now become a multi-national and a multicultural company that is committed to providing the best in each of its business areas: baking, nutrition and health, flavors and fermentation.

Since 1853, innovation has been at the heart of Lesaffre development. In close collaboration with its clients and partners, Lesaffre innovates with confidence, in order to feed and protect the planet more effectively.

Lesaffre has achieved a turnover of more than 1.9 billion Euros in 2017. Its products are distributed in more than 180 countries. Lesaffre employs 9500 people in more than 80 subsidiaries based in about forty five countries.


Key figures

Those key figures can be communicated externally either with bullet points as below or within sentences that can be added to the Lesaffre presentation.

Turnover in 2017
billion euros
More than 60% is generated outside Europe, including over 40% on emerging markets

More than 80 subsidiaries

in over 45 countries

62 production plants

39 sales offices

38 Baking CenterTM

and 5 culinary Centers

Every day

More than

1 billion

people live on products manufactured with our products

Lesaffre products and services are sold in more than
180 countries

500 researchers work in conjunction

With some sixty universities and research centers worldwide

Staff numbers in 2017:

9,500 employees

(80% outside France, 46% outside Europe)

Representing more than 70 nationalities

Since 2003, Lesaffre has sent in mission more than 50 VIE (French international Internship program) in

17 countries

At the end of their contract, three quarters of them have received an appointment proposal

More than 70%
of the general managers were promoted in-house

When building a new factory,
20 to 30%
of the Investment is earmarked for environmental improvements

Environmental improvements account for 15% of our industrial expenditure each year


Yeast extracts, Bacteria… are life!

Lesaffre masters technologies and processes that have enormous potential and whose limits are still to be discovered. Feel free to communicate about yeast in general and the fact that we master fermentation of yeast and bacteria.

Yeast is a fragile, delicate and unpredictable organism. We do not produce yeast; we cultivate it.

Yeast is a living organism, a microscopic single-cell fungus that is oval or spherical in shape. Formed from a single cell, this microorganism measures between 6 and 8 thousandths of a millimetre!

Yeast plays a key role in leavening baking dough, but it also adds greatly to the taste, flavour, organoleptic and nutritional properties of the baking products.

It is also an essential ingredient in all fermented drinks.

Alive, some yeasts are very good probiotics. Inactive, yeast contains nutriments that have numerous benefits for the health of humans, animals and plants.

Furthermore, yeast extracts form natural food ingredients that can be used to enhance and develop the flavour of pre-cooked dishes. They are also essential nutriments for fermentation industries.

Some bacteria are probiotics for human and animals. Lesaffre masters the production technologies of these products that are an important supplement of its offer.

For more information visit www.exploreyeast.com


The swallow



When “Lesaffre and Bonduelle” started marketing grain yeast in the 1880s, it used the brand (“l’ancre”). In the early 1890s, Lesaffre and Bonduelle launched a new yeast product, promoting its “unique strength” using a swallow brand. This yeast brand, with its reputation for superior quality, rapidly achieved considerable renown, to the extent that the swallow naturally came to symbolise the Group.

But why, in the late 19th century, was the swallow chosen to symbolise compressed yeast? The mystery remains. Apparently, however, numerous swallows flocked around the Marcq-en-Baroeul production site, which was originally a grain alcohol distillery.

The swallow is a living symbol. It is a migratory bird that symbolises fertility, freedom and loyalty, as well as springtime and rebirth. Swallows are light and have a gracious, furtive allure that is perfectly tailored to their air-borne environment. Furthermore, swallows can cover extremely long distances (over 10,000km) and can be found on all continents; as such, they embody Lesaffre’s international growth. Swallows have an extensive range and are undaunted by obstacles, but they return to their roots every year. As such, they perfectly represent a Group that takes every care to satisfy and remain loyal to its customers in all circumstances.


Louis Lesaffre and Louis Bonduelle joined forces to build a grain and juniper berry distillery in Marquette-lez-Lille (northern France)


The seven Lesaffre & Bonduelle plants were devided up among the three family branches; Lesaffre & Cie was created


They purchased a mill in Marcq-en-Baroeul and converted it into a grain distillery


Wastewater processing via evaporation was introduced


Baker’s yeast was first produced in Marcq, as a distillery by-product


The first rotary drum was introduced for producing active dry yeast beads


Some salient

Historical events


Yeast produced in France is sold in Africa, The Middle East and Asia


A majority shareholding was acquired in Fould-Springer (which will become Bio Springer)


The first instant dried yeast product was produced; The Saf-instant brand was created


The first Baking CenterTM was opened in Marcq


A yeast plant was built in Toluca (Mexico)

From the 1990’s

Many yeast acquisitions and building projects were completed throughout the world; the Group returned to yeast as its core business, and as such:

1993-1998: acquisitions of yeast companies in Italy, Poland, Chili, Russia…

2000: Sold its alcohol business

2001: Acquired Red Star Yeast in the USA and the Ming Guang yeast plant in China

2006: Sold its malt business

2010: Build a yeast and yeast extracts plant in the USA and China

2012: Acquired the Voronezh yeast plant in Russia


Key notion


Ongoing, collaborative innovation


Innovation means introducing something new in terms of use, habit, scientific approach, etc.… Innovation is different from invention or discovery by its operational character and its concrete applicability. In this respect, Lesaffre has innovation written in its genes.

Lesaffre has ensured that Research and Development forms the key driver of its success. Preparing for the future means a commitment to an innovation based on an in-depth awareness of market needs and issues. With pragmatism and skill, Lesaffre generates technical and industrial solutions that support its customers’ own innovation processes.

For example, in 1930, Lesaffre was the first yeast industry player to deploy an evaporator.

When instant dried yeast was first developed in 1973 (the famous Saf-Instant brand), Lesaffre technical and sales teams wisely opted to market it in 500g vacuum packs, such as those used for instant coffee products. This format subsequently became the market benchmark.

In 2003, Lesaffre launched Kastalia, a distributor of liquid yeast for primarily craft bakers. Truly breakthrough innovation, this overall concept has rapidly been adopted by our customers.

More recently, Lesaffre pioneered a new substrate (glucose syrup instead of molasses) for its production processes in the USA. The plant is still the only one to master this process on a large scale.

And Lesaffre continues to maintain its edge by investing in the future. For example, more than 180 researchers work in conjunction with some 60 universities and research centres worldwide.

Our shared objective is to develop high-quality products, the safety of which has been tested and proven. Innovation is the best possible means for ensuring our future growth, and thus the growth of our customers.


Key notion


Creating closer ties with our customers and team members, and ensuring a worldwide presence


The excellence of our product underscores all our undertakings. It bears testimony to our unshakeable commitment to quality and supports our preoccupation with customer satisfaction. With products marketed in more than 180 countries, we are more committed than ever to being a key partner for all our customers across the world. We have 49 industrial sites and 39 sales offices in some 40 countries.

We have developed an excellent capacity to adapt by immersing ourselves in the culture, habits and customs of our customers and users. We ensure close customer support and technical assistance through 30 Baking Centers™ and three Culinary Centers. This close relationship is essential in developing products and services that are tailored in harmony with our customers’ industrial processes.

Wherever we do business, we maintain a close relationship with the local authorities and support social projects managed by neighbourhood associations.

Because people have always been, and always will be the lynchpin of our success, our management and human resources policy is also deeply rooted in our team members’ local environment. Lesaffre is physically present in more than 40 countries and its teams include some 70 nationalities, hence the need to adapt to the cultural and economic realities of different local situations. This multiculturalism is an enormous boon for the company as a whole, as well as for each individual employee. We actively encourage experience sharing, dialogue, diversity and initiative as it is critical to the success and fulfilment of us all.


Key notion


Ensuring a sustainable future through transferring spirit and expertise


Lesaffre 160-year history is built on tradition and the transfer of expertise regarding a 7,000-year-old product with a strong symbolic value; a product, moreover, that meets a fundamental human need: baking bread.

Bread has always symbolised sharing and generosity. This mind-set, deeply rooted in our family history, has always been our driving force.

It is no accident that our company is now 160 years old. Lesaffre has successfully survive economic crises, wars and technological revolutions. Since 1853, thousands of people have played their part in building Lesaffre, transferring their expertise with enthusiasm. Sharing and handing down our expertise is still as important as ever, notably through the training given by the Institut Léon Lesaffre, our in-house training centre or by our Baking Center™ and Culinary Center present worldwide.

Our rich history of achievement let us approach the future with confidence. As a family-owned Group that has continually supported its growth by constant investment, Lesaffre has the advantage of being able to address the long-term while making a useful present-day contribution.