“Growing the Turkish market is one of our responsibilities as well.”

24 December 20136 min reading
Luca F. Ruini: “Pasta consumption in Turkey is relatively low when compared to the rest of the world. We consider that the most important reason of that is the misconception about pasta that it makes people fat. Turkey is one of our important markets where we operate from field to fork. We’ve been leading the Turkish market with our brands for almost 5 years and growing the market is one of our responsibilities as well. Barilla is one of the most recognizable pasta brands in the world. Being established in 1877 as small bakery and pasta store in Parma, Italy that is the homeland of pasta; Barilla is one of the world’s most prominent Italian food companies today. Besides its leadership in pasta industry; Barilla is still the leader company for pasta sauces in Continental Europe, for bakery products (bread, cracker, biscuits, chocolate covered wafers, cakes) in Italy and for crisp bread in the Scandinavian countries. This big company of the sector continues to strengthen its position in the world market with partnerships and purchases made with the local producers in many countries. Entering into the Turkish market in 1994 with the partnership of Filiz Makarna; Barilla’s Health, Safety, Environment & Energy Director Luca Fernando Ruini evaluated the last one year of Barilla in the world pasta market and the developments in that market and he expressed Barilla’s approach to Turkish market. As one of the world’s largest pasta producers, could you evaluate the last one year of world pasta market? What is the place of Barilla in that market? Barilla is the world’s largest pasta producer and we’ve continued to perform well in the market. Sales have grown strongly outside Italy, with some exceptional results in countries like Brazil, where Barilla launched a new line of pasta and sauces around the start of 2013. In Italy, which remains the country with the highest per-capita consumption of pasta, Barilla sales have been broadly flat, in line with the rest of the market. What can you say about the organization and market policy of Barilla in abroad? For instance; Barilla is a brand that gives service in Turkey with its own production facilities. Is there a similar structuring in other countries or in which countries are you working with this kind of structuring? Barilla is very careful about sustainability on the one hand and tailoring to specific customer needs on the other. When it comes to pasta, this means using durum wheat found locally and customizing the offer to satisfy local clients’ preferences, which often comes with local brands like in Turkey. On average, more than 80% of the durum wheat used to make pasta by Barilla in difference parts of the world is grown locally. In countries like Turkey, Mexico and the US, the figure is 100%. Although Turkey is a good pasta producer and exporter, it is still behind many countries in pasta consumption. How can you evaluate the consumption culture in Turkey and this low consumption average and what do you attribute this low rate? What does Turkish market mean to you and what is your expectation from this market? Pasta consumption in Turkey is relatively low when compared to the rest of the world (around 6.5 kg pp). There can be few reasons behind that but we consider the misconception about pasta that it makes people fat, as one of the most important ones. On the basis of the Mediterranean diet we are trying to reset this perception since pasta, with its low GI is one of the critical components of this healthy nutrition model. And we are happy to see that our efforts started to pay off, especially in young and mid-age groups. Turkey is one of our important markets where we operate from field to fork. We’ve been leading the Turkish market with our brands for almost 5 years and growing the market is one of our responsibilities as well. How the problems recently experienced in Middle East and North Africa have affected the pasta industry? Have you affected from this period as Barilla? Pasta industry is still doing well in ME & NA so does Barilla as well. Consumption is increasing, markets are developing. We can say that Pasta industry is not affected by social, political and economic turmoil. In all these countries throughout this big region we are going to fortify our position. What is the future potential of world pasta market especially in terms of consumption? What are the reasons preventing the consumption increase of pasta or the misconceptions of the consumers about pasta? How can these misconceptions be changed? There is a plenty of potential out there because pasta is good for people and for the planet. The misconception is that it’s fattening. You fight that by telling people that pasta is at the heart of the med diet, recognized by nutritionists around the world for its health benefits. Also by teaching people how to eat pasta in the right way: quite often abroad pasta is eaten with a too much and too rich condiments. If you eat it as is most common in Italy, with just tomato sauce, parmigiano and basil, it’s nutritious and healthy. Also teach it’s a complex carb with low GI index. What is the future goal of Barilla about world pasta market? What kind of a movement do you aim in production and export? We aim to double the business by 2020, while continuously reducing our footprint on the Planet and promoting wholesome and joyful food habits. This is the way for Barilla of doing business in a sustainable way. What would you like to add? For a planet whose resources are being gradually exhausted and where the spread of diseases related to poor nutrition is increasing, it is essential to find a way of living and eating that promotes human and environmental welfare. For this reason the Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition suggests a possible path. This is the model of the Double Pyramid of Food and the Environment – developed four years ago and further updated here – which, analyzing the foods recommended for human health and their environmental impacts, confirms the possibility of choosing a sustainable diet, “good” for us and for the planet. Your readers can learn the details about that on
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