THE RED GOLD OF ITALY
ITALIANFOOD.NET - JANUARY 2020
True champions of Made in Italy, tomato-based products continue to thrive in international markets. In the first half of the year, according to data released by Anicav, exports totaled over one million tons, up 6% compared the same period of 2018, for a value of around 830 million euros (+8.9%). Within the EU, Italian tomatoes are exported mostly in Germany, the UK and France followed, outside the EU, by the United States, Japan and Libya. Puree sauce, peeled tomatoes and tomato paste dominate the market with a share of 34.9%, 37.8% and 25.3% respectively. “The category of processed red tomatoes abroad remains dominated by puree sauces in the retail segment and peeled toma
toes in the Horeca channel,” says Diodato Ferraioli, Export and Business Development Manager at La Doria, a company whose exports of processed tomatoes account for around 36% of turnover and 38% of exported volumes. “We have seen growth in puree products in the retail channel, while regional specialties continue to struggle, unlike in Italy. In some markets we have recorded an increase in consumption of the ethnic segment, where processed tomatoes are among the best-selling products along with legumes.” “Our top product abroad remains the puree, whose versatility is appreciated in kitchens all over the world, preferably in small and medium formats and boxes. A packaging that has distinguished us since the creation
of the Pomì brand,” said Barbara Mantelli, Export Manager Pomì and De Rica, a brand of the Consorzio Casalasco del Pomodoro. “Recently, however, we have received growing demand for ready to use sauces and condiments. Exports of processed red tomatoes, including only the Pomì and De Rica brands, accounts for 55% of value and 48% of volumes. Our growth targets for the next two years include an increase in the assortment and further investment in communication, especially in strategic countries such as the United States, Germany, Austria and the Middle East”. Italian authenticity is an important advantage, as it does not only concerns the origin of tomatoes but also the tradition and recipes of our cuisine. “In foreign markets, the Italian origin of raw materials, the selection of the ingredients and the recipes make the difference,” said Sandra Sangiuolo, marketing export chief at Conserve Italia. “However, the great story-telling of the best Italian cuisine is also important,” she said. The company, which exports to 80 countries, aims to consolidate its presence also in the Far East as a region of future expansion. Simple genuine recipes and a short and clean list of ingredients are the key factors for the Le Conserve della Nonna brand by Gruppo Fini. “Our products are known for the quality of the recipes, the processing, the raw materials, and our passion for studying and creating products that smell and taste like “home-made” products,” Marketing Product Chief Lorenza Baretti said. “These are the keys of our success, focused on bringing the good Italian cuisine all over the world. Exports account for over 10% of our total turnover. Exports increased significantly in the past 12 months, both for our brand Le Conserve della Nonna and for
private label products, thanks to launches in new markets and the activation of trade relations with important retail chains in several European countries such as the UK, Belgium and Spain. Our advantage is to serve our clients by working together to find the best range to offer to the destination market, either with branded products or by developing their mainstream and
premium private brands,” Lorenza Baretti said.
A growing channel focused on specialties The out of home is an important market for most players in the “red tomato” segment. Mutti offers a complete range, with a special focus on Finely Chopped Tomatoes and Pizza Sauce. The out of home is also very important for Icab: more than 70% of foreign turnover comes from the foodservice channel. The company, whose total exports are worth around 5.3 million euros (25% of total turnover) aims to double its foreign turnover in the next two years. “The trend we are driving changes depending on different countries,” said Francesco Franzese, CEO at Icab (La Fiammante brand). “In northern Europe and especially in the UK we focus on our supply chain and ethical certifications. We are certified by Dnv SocialFoot Print and we will soon adopt the blockchain technology,” he said. “In north and south America, we are working a lot on regional specialties, tradition and storytelling. In the out of home, our most popular products include the fine pulp Pa’ Pizza and a gourmet range with 20
different unique products. We mostly work with private distributors, in the United States with Cisco and Us Food service, in the UK with Vesty (Franco Manca group) and Gruppo Gino Sorbillo”. Foodservice accounts for more than 60% of foreign turnover for Davia, thanks especially to peeled tomatoes. The company, which generates around 80% of its turnover abroad (around 16 million euros, up 7%), targets to reach an additional 15% in 2020 by opening two direct offices overseas. “We serve the entire foodservice chain through importers, direct clients and our warehouse,” Sales Manager Cosimo D’Ambrosio said. In general, in foreign markets we are promoting the concept of Osy, or made Only in South Italy, and we focus on certifications, especially for organic products. Peeled tomatoes, available in cans of 3 Kg, are the best-selling product in the segment for La Doria, for which the out of home channel generates around 9% of total foreign turnover from processed tomatoes. “They are sold through local distributors mostly in Italian pizzerias and restaurants. Japan and the USA are our top markets for this segment”. For the out of home channel, Conserve Italia proposes the range Cirio Foodservice, which offers a large assortment of tomato-based products in bag in box packs, which combine ease of use with a good quality-price ratio. Foreign foodservice operators are also interested in regional specialties and quality raw materials. “The growth of gourmet pizza and the search for authentic ingredients has generated a constant increase in demand for San Marzano tomato for which we are very well known in Europe,” said Ernesto Coppola, Ceo at Coppola Foods. “Foodservice represents around 20% of our sales and we are present with both classic products (peeled and pulp) and premium products such as fine pulp. Our final customers are restaurant chains and pizzerias, but we also supply some of the most important airport hubs in Asia.”
In foodservice, Palo is betting on the new range ‘Il Vesuviano’, presented at Anuga, to sell at pizzerias. Present in the foodservice channel only since January 2018, the company, although with a still limited domestic share (6%), offers pulp, puree, peeled and cherry tomatoes through ho.re.ca. distributors and bakery wholesalers. In 2019, it started to work with direct distributors for pizzerias with an ad-hoc promotion focused on “Il Vesuviano.” The specialty ranges in glass and bowls are dominated by Società Agricola Monterosso, together with the Salse Pronte (Ready Sauces) range. The company, whose exports account for 30% of total turnover, up 50%, aims to confirm the positive trend in the new year. Passata di Ciliegino Solanino is instead the new product launched by Solana last September. “It’s an exclusive variety (SC92) selected and recorded by our technologists and is exclusively grown for Solana,” Export Manager Francesco Nizzoli said. Specializing in industrial supplies and foodservice (which generates 20% of turnover, in huge growth), Solana exports nearly 18 million euros of products, with a 15-20% growth year on year. Present in
32 countries (Japan being the top market), it hopes to debut in target markets such as South Korea, China and Canada. “Our mission is to educate clients to choose products based on quality, a key element of our production and our company. Our main products are Pomodoro Cubettato and Polpa Fine (diced tomatoes and fine pulp), made with sous vide steam peeling machines and state-of-the-art dicers. We have also started a plant to work with recipes such as Pizza Sauce, Pulp and Puree products with natural spices and condiments.” Steriltom is also working with the foodservice industry to introduce its own products in the main Italian pizzeria and restaurant chains. “More than 50% of our revenues comes from exports,” said Riccardo Ferri, Foreign Commercial Office. “The saturation of the European market has convinced us to focus on South America and the Middle East. In terms of trends, bag in box continues to grow. While in terms of product we see growing interest in fresh gourmet products and ready to use. We are launching a new pulp from a cherry tomato variety that has a distinctive sweet taste due to the selected tomato variety”.
Cooking shows and tasting to woo consumers The organization of in-store promotions allowing to try first hand the quality of products through tasting events is a successful strategy followed by several players. Coppola Foods, for example, has implemented with great success in several countries of Europe, Asia and Latin America a program of tasting events called ‘Right Tomato, Better Result!’, aimed at highlighting the differences between the products of the range and the different ways of use. “We also organize the cooking shows ‘The School of Tomato’, with local and Italian chefs, where we explain to selected groups of journalists, bloggers and food lovers how different varieties, farming and production methods produce different products with distinctive flavors and use. We are doing this to export our culture together with the product”.
Sustainability first In addition to informing customers, packaging must be sustainable and improve the consumption experience. “We use cans that are BPA-free, can be piled up for a better use within the stores or single dose packaging for singles and small families”, Ernesto Coppola from Coppola Foods said. “We are also trying to reduce to the minimum the use of plastic in secondary packaging by replacing it with cardboard when it’s possible.” Sandra Sangiuolo from Conserve Italia (brand Cirio) said eco-friendly packaging with low environment impact are very appreciated. “For example, there are the briks made for the new range Tetra Recart which we started in the Ravarino plant for the last tomato harvest”.
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About Coppola Foods
Coppola Foods is an innovative food company committed to making good food better.
We offer a comprehensive range of premium quality, tasty, nutritious and sustainable food products together with an excellent level of service and attentive solutions to fulfil the needs of customers and markets.
Our range of authentic Italian food products are cornerstones of the Mediterranean diet. This includes tomatoes, legumes, vegetable products, sauces, condiments and grain products.
We are a fourth-generation family business with a long heritage in the production and marketing of food products, dating back to 1903 in Salerno, in Southern Italy.