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WHEN FOOD BECOMES HIGH FASHION: THE SECRET OF GIAS FROZEN FOOD
Gourmet that is environmentally friendly and genuine. In short, frozen products based on the assumption that food is now like high fashion: you need to keep up with trends and innovate while maintaining a personal touch that allows you to be identifiable at all times. This is what is made constantly available to Gias spa customers. It is a company based in Mongrassano, in the province of Cosenza, in Calabria. We asked Gloria Tenuta, the Chairman, what the strengths of this business enterprise are (80 full time workers and about 200 seasonal workers), such as its positioning in foreign markets and future developments.
Dr. Tenuta, what would you say is the company’s strong point?
We pay particular attention to research and development, which we have made as flexible as possible in line with customer needs. We try to offer the right mix between innovation and traditionalism.
Which foreign countries do you operate in?
In particular in Europe, U.S.A., Japan and Australia. Then of course we look beyond these countries, to China and the Far East. Our company’s exports can be significantly increased because they are currently at 30%.
The trade fairs are an important channel that allows you to make contacts, but I want to point out that our business in foreign markets is related to the hardware capabilities of the relevant country that wishes to import goods, as well as logistics capabilities. It has to be possible to set up the cold supply chain.
What is your typical customer like?
In reality there are two drivers: the first relates to large retailers who need to market Italian products, and the second relates to direct contacts with other companies. Italian dishes are often produced and customized to suit local tastes, also because there are restrictions to consider: for example. in certain countries you cannot import meat for example, while in others its fish.
What are your best selling products?
On foreign markets, particularly the U.S.A, our best sellers are traditional Italian first course dishes, which are those typical of the Mediterranean diet. Examples are ordinary rigatoni and fettucine, and then there are vegetables: peppers, tomatoes, aubergine and red onion.
The products are already selected during the sowing phase and we only choose seasonal ingredients from Calabria, Puglia and Sicily, without using plant protection products. We have also obtained certifications that evidence the low environmental impact of the production process.
Another important factor is that our products are packed within 24 hours, which is a process we define as being "just in time".
What steps make up the production cycle?
The production cycle consists of washing, sorting, cooking, freezing and bagging. With regard to product mix, we process products separately and then only blend them together at the end. Then they are shipped in refrigerated containers and delivered.