Between product and process innovation, a product of tradition finds new growth ideas with special flours, fresh products processed ad hoc, or sustainability projects.
If you ask the average consumer, especially an Italian consumer, to name a traditional product they are likely to answer pasta. A product that, by the way, experienced a real revival during the pandemic because of its characteristics versatility and convenience in preparation and storage. Yet, in recent years, the pasta sector has experienced profound changes marked by innovation, as seen at the last Pastaria Festival of which TUTTOFOOD2023 was a partner.
It is not just about product innovation, such as the introduction of alternative raw materials to cereals, but also process innovation as Alberto Bianco, Marketing and NBD Manager of Gnocchi Master, explains: "We are among the few producers to use fresh potatoes. Fresh potatoes are very sticky and, in order to be processed obtaining even results, they required special machinery that we designed ourselves at home. Our Mamma Emma gluten free gnocchi, on the other hand, it was all about product innovation: here the challenge was to hold the dough together without eggs or gluten, which required a lot of research into raw materials and recipe formulation."
This is not the only case where, in the face of an already innovative product, research focuses on other aspects. Felicetti, for example, has decided to go further focusing specifically on sustainability. "This led to the design of packaging made of 100 percent certified paper from responsibly managed forests,"explains Marketing Manager Daniele Bighignoli. "In order to be sure about the benefits of the project, we commissioned a study from the University of Trento that showed substantial overall savings in terms of sustainability, even taking into account the energy consumption of the machinery. Another concrete example is the new factory in Molino di Fiemme, built according to a design that is well integrated in the territory and landscape. The journey continues with the goal of obtaining sustainability certification."
On the other hand, when we talk about product innovation, we cannot fail to mention specialty flours, a genuine case of market success in recent years. "Our company comes from a family of fourth-generation millers,” says Fabiana Molinelli, FiberPasta's Marketing and Sales. "So the innovation comes from our deep knowledge of flours gained over time. Our founder understood the importance of specialty flours well in advance, and thus the patented FiberPasta mix was born, which integrates not only fibers from cereals, but also other plant fibers such as inulin from chicory, with proven nutritional properties. In 2001, the mix was recognized as food for diabetics by the Ministry of Health. In our case, the combination of tradition and innovation is concrete: tradition is reflected in the flavor of the mix, comparable to traditional pasta. It is not just a matter of taste, but it also helps dietary compliance for people with special dietary needs."
The pasta industry, as an industry to be looked at with fresh eyes. Its many nuances between tradition and innovation will be enhanced at TUTTOFOOD 2023, at Fiera Milano from May 8 to 11, 2023, in the dedicated TUTTOPASTA sector. To find out how to become an exhibitor at TUTTOFOOD visit this page. To participate as a professional visitor please go to this page.