Pasta maker La Molisana taps demand for authenticity and wellness

By Katy Askew

- Last updated on GMT

Italian premium pasta maker plots growth
Italian premium pasta maker plots growth

Related tags Wheat

Italian pasta maker La Molisana is planning an “official attack” on international markets in 2018 - supported by its messaging around authenticity and health - as it targets growth of more than 40% over the next three years.

The company, which is based in Campobasso, Italy, closed 2017 with a turnover in the region of €140m. The group has seen a six-fold increase in revenue since 2011 when it was acquired by the Ferro family.

Chief executive Giuseppe Ferro said that the firm intends to step up expansion as it looks to 2020. “In the next three years we aim to reach the goal of €200m [in turnover],”​ he revealed.

The La Molisana brand has grown to become the fifth-largest pasta brand in Italy, the CEO noted. As the company looks to the future, it wants to expand its presence internationally.

The group already sells pasta in 80 countries around the world and overseas sales currently account for around 35% of group sales. La Molisana has increased its exports from 4,000 tonnes in 2011 to 34,000 tonnes today.

Growth has been supported by investment: La Molisaca has invested €42m to expand since 2011.

La Molisana believes exports are “fundamental”​ to further growing the brand and the company expects its proportion of overseas sales to increase.

Quality, authenticity and wellness key

La Molisana said that consumers are increasingly "sensitive”​ to messaging around the quality and origin of products.

The company recently introduced a new packaging to communicate its authenticity and heritage. The Ferro family have been flour millers for four generations and the company operates an integrated supply chain “from wheat grain to the table”​. The group added that its production processes leverage modern technologies that use “ancient methods”​.

La Molisana has also launched a new recipe, which has increased protein content to 14.5% compared to other products on the market which it said typically contain an average of 12% protein.

Moving forward, Ferro said that the role of wholemeal pasta will be “particularly strategic”​ for the brand. The sector is currently a “niche”​ but is “registering particularly interesting growth”.

“We have developed a recipe that contains 7.5% fibre to respond to the consumer who is more and more attentive to an idea of nutrition that also meets the needs of health and well-being,”​ the CEO explained.

Additionally, the company aims to expand its presence in the semolina sector. La Molisana has created a line of re-milled semolina that it said is rich in nutrients and has a high protein content.

The company said that these efforts were “fundamental”​ to its drive to develop relationships with “active consumers​” in Italy and abroad.

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