Garofalo is the third largest Pasta producer in Italy, supplying its quality range of pasta to the Italian and overseas markets, including the UK. Garofalo has been making pasta since 1789 in Gragnano, which is the birthplace of pasta in Italy. Gragnano is very close to Naples, in the Campania region. Garofalo makes around 530 tons per day across all its ranges, and to avoid cross-contamination issues, all ranges, except the gluten-free pasta, are made in the company’s factory in Gragnano. Garofalo has an office and warehouse in the UK run by Mal Pullan the commercial director, to handle the UK and Ireland.
Garofalo has an expertise in pasta making grounded in years of experience and thanks to history and tradition the company knows exactly how to make pasta, down to the very last detail. The very best durum wheat and the most advanced technologies and equipment to achieve the best possible results. “Pasta is simply made with water and durum wheat semolina and you can’t produce an excellent pasta if the best wheat is not used. It is primarily the quality and quantity of gluten present that determines the quality of the wheat,” says Mal.
“Garofalo lives and breathes pasta,” Mal says. “We have an owner whose family has been in pasta for generations and who is personally involved in the selection of the durum wheat, a culinary gourmet technical director who fully understands what makes great pasta, and a team of workers who are both passionate and knowledgeable about the product.”
There are five retail ranges under the Garofalo Signature brand. The best-known range, with the widest variety of shapes is the traditional pasta range. Garofalo also offers Organic Whole Wheat Pasta, Organic Traditional Pasta, and Children’s Organic Pasta, which are fun, small shapes perfect for babies and toddlers. The latest range is the Gluten Free Pasta, which launched only when a product had been developed that didn’t compromise on taste and texture. Garofalo gluten free pasta was a finalist in The Grocer New Product Awards in 2014 and has made it to the final of the Free From awards 2015, with results soon to be announced.
The most popular pasta shapes in the UK are fusilli, spaghetti and penne. “We have seen amazing sales growth in fusilli in the last two years across both the traditional and the whole wheat ranges. With the popularity of fusilli, we added Tricolore Fusilli to the range, which is proving a popular addition and we will launch in April Fusillone in the UK, a large fusilli shape popular in Italy. The packaging has been designed to show off the pasta, the philosophy being there is nothing to hide, no broken bits in the bottom of the pack, and the fact that pasta is actually beautiful to look at! The clear pack design is across all the ranges making Garofalo pasta instantly recognisable on shelf.
British consumers have responded well to the range. “Pasta has always been popular,” Mal says, “and we are seeing good sales of Garofalo pasta in the UK of some of the more unusual shapes, as well as the more popular ones. People are realising that not all pasta is the same, and that it’s worth paying a little more for a quality pasta. We are seeing good year-on-year growth.”
“The company promotes in “the normal way,” says Sally Assinder, Garofalo’s marketing manager for the UK, “through money-off and multi-buy promotions, where we see good uplifts, but we aim to keep the promotions to a level in order to encourage trial, without devaluing the brand. We have booked a stand at the Speciality and Fine Food Fair, which will promote to a key market sector for Garofalo.”
“Key to increasing sales, Sally says, is “stocking the right range. Having a good knowledge of the product and its provenance is also important. We will shortly be offering a POS pack to stockists of Garofalo pasta along side product information and ‘try packs’ for wholesalers. Varying the type of pasta in their range offering will help boost sales; if customers want whole wheat or gluten-free, these can easily be offered to customers alongside our traditional pasta all under the Garofalo Signature brand.”