Logistical difficulties and price increases present companies with some tough challenges. However, producers are ready to respond, with innovation and imagination.
Rising prices for raw materials, but also for packaging, energy and transport, and disruptions in supply chains: from plant-based products to tasty biscuits, from ready-to-eat legumes to frozen specialities, companies are sharpening their skills to respond with creativity and innovation to the market challenges presented by unstable international scenarios.
“Despite the price increases, by using consolidated suppliers and selected raw materials, including many Italian PDOs, we have not had to change the recipes”, explained Massimiliano Bacchini, sales director and board member of Surgital, a leading company in frozen fresh pasta. “Generally speaking, we focus on innovation linked to tradition, for example our first totally plant-based reference, Vegetable, pea and lentil Linguine from our iconic brand Laboratorio Tortellini® Alta Tradizione. Also, in terms of eating out, despite the general instability we are seeing a great recovery”.
Unchanged raw material quality and recipes also for Divella, an emblematic brand in the pasta segment. Marcello Valentini states, “Increases in raw materials were compounded by increases in packaging, energy and transport. We had to revise our prices and strategies, but still maintain the same quality and recipes. Against this background, we also launched two new products in the Ottimini biscuit line ‘I Ripieni’, which were met with enthusiasm by distributors and consumers. At the same time, we are pursuing sustainability and have adopted a totally recyclable film and are using increasing shares of renewable energy (solar and wind power)”.
New products for smart consumers
Roncadin, one of the leaders in frozen pizzas - which is also a non-profit company - has also launched new products as a response to the critical situation, as CEO Dario Roncadin explains, “Despite the situation, we have not changed our products, nor have we stopped our plans to launch new ones. On the contrary, in May we will enter the fresh food market with two new products, La Pinsa and Il Trancio, two bakery products made with high quality raw materials and designed to expand our offer. We believe that the upward trend in frozen food seen during the pandemic will continue”.
From the unique perspective of a company with a strong health focus, Pedon notes that “…interest in legumes, which played a leading role during the pandemic, continues: particularly traditionally cooked products, which combine domestic preparations with a desire to experiment” commented Matteo Merlin, Pedon’s Marketing Manager. “With the upswing in out-of-home dining, there is a growing demand for lines with a high service content. The consumer is moving towards natural and tasty yet practical and easy-to-recipe proposals. We will continue to invest in ready-to-eat, with no cooking required, an area that continues to provide us with great satisfaction”.
These and many other innovations will be the protagonists of the TUTTOFOOD 2023 exhibition at fieramilano from 8 to 11 May 2023.