Interview with Anna Bakun, Pol-Foods Commercial Director

Monday, 13 February, 2017 Food From Poland 27/2017
With Anna Bakun, Pol-Foods Commercial Director, we talk about the high quality of Sotelli pastas, Italian production lines and brand promotional actions.
Sotelli pasta – healthy, because gluten-free? What else makes your pasta distinguishable in the market?

A basic feature of our pasta is its very high quality. Our product – Sotelli pasta is a synonym of very good pasta first, and only then a gluten-free pasta. We have carried out many analyses and tests in which our Sotelli pasta has proved to be the best among competitor products, leaders in the Polish and European markets. We have confirmation in consumer research that our pasta is very highly esteemed as regards to the taste, quality, time of boiling, viscosity, springiness and elasticity.

Sotelli pastas are first of all typical Italian style pastas. To achieve a high satisfaction level for the client, thanks to the best quality, we have invested a lot in Italian production lines from the Pawan company. An added value is the fact that our pasta is corn based. Our company’s mission is, above all, for our pasta to reach a market position which shall be equal to that of wheat pasta. We would like the pasta to be generally available to all consumers. It is important that the whole family can eat one product, regardless of whether individual members tolerate gluten or not.

At present, corn based gluten-free pasta available on the Polish market, is at the highest price level. It is not available in all stores. Consumers are not educated about the values of pasta of this kind.

We want to teach consumers and change their approach to the product. Up to this time gluten-free pasta has been put on a super premium shelf. We want to completely divert the trends that function in the market. We really want everyone, whoever wishes to eat good pasta at an affordable price, to get this pasta.

Italian quality in the Polish version - what does it mean to consumers?

First of all unrivalled quality obtained thanks to, among other things, our self-sufficiency. And by this we are distinguished from the competition.

We have opened a mill which produces cornflour. So, in fact, we are producing the raw material all by ourselves. Our pasta is made from two components, that is water and corn. So, in order to produce pasta we must have full access to the second ingredient, i.e. corn. Therefore, we have invested both in silos where we store corn, and a mill which gives us the main component of our product.

Thanks to this we can function with ‘one mark-up’ on the product and thus the price is much lower. The second element of the price is volume. I have not heard of such a big gluten-free pasta factory in this part of Europe. Thanks to large and efficient lines, we are able to compete with every producer.

Please, tell us about the Sotelli pasta offer – are you planning to introduce any novelty?

New variants of Sotelli pasta already appeared in January. These included several short and several long forms. We would like to open a line for filling pasta in the first quarter of this year. These include two big pasta forms, elbow macaroni and tube pasta. This will be a separate line of Sotelli pasta. We are still working on this concept. In this period we are also planning to introduce products for children with fine patterns. Currently, we have two sorts of these products – letters and animals. And we have even moved one step further, to include a colouring book inside. On the other hand, for taste connoisseurs there is Bucatini pasta on the market – spaghetti with a hole inside. This is a proposition for more demanding connoisseurs. Pastas for children and long macaroni should be in our offer in February this year.

In the second quarter we will be introducing taste variants. That is short and long macaroni which will be with additions, e.g. spinach, tomato or sea algae.

In the third and fourth quarter we are planning a big premiere of special macaroni: pappardelle and pasta nests in a gluten-free version.

Thank you for the interview.
Monika Kociubińska

tagi: Anna Bakun , Pol-Foods ,