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IN WHICH DIRECTION IS THE PASTRY BUSINESS GOING - INTERVIEW WITH PAOLO GOTTARDELLO, R&D MANAGER PASTRY CASA OPTIMA

IN WHICH DIRECTION IS THE PASTRY BUSINESS GOING

INTERVIEW WITH PAOLO GOTTARDELLO, R&D MANAGER PASTRY CASA OPTIMA

In which direction is the pastry business going after the forced closure caused by the lockdown? The pastry chefs have had to reinvent themselves and the companies on their part, have responded to the new requests by proposing innovative ideas, raw materials, semi- finished products, and decorations useful to attract the final consumer. Paolo Gottardello, R&D Manager Pastry for the Group Casa Optima since 2018 (already R&D Manager for Modecor since 2016) tells us about the latest trends in Italy and around the world, and how the companies of the group are interpreting them.

After the stand still caused by the pandemic, in which direction is the pastry business going?

After the lockdown period, which witnessed a reduction in the activities of the workshops, the trend of the pastry channel is in constant recovery. Professionals have succeeded in reinventing themselves, on the one hand by increasing their presence in online channels and on the other by doing their utmost to differentiate themselves: you just need to look at the showcases to see that alongside confectionaries and traditional pastries, artisans are expanding the range of products to offer in their shops, working mainly on modern pastry and single portions, perfect to increase sales during weekdays as well as during holidays. This need on behalf of our customers turns into a continual request for innovative ideas and ingredients applicable in their day-to-day work routine. The companies of our group have supported the professionals in this regard by proposing seasonally, innovative ideas, raw materials, semi-finished products, and decorations to attract the final consumer.

Which are the current trends in Italy and around the world?

Gluttonous and attractive products remain best sellers in the showcase of the pastry shop, however ‘health-conscious’ products are becoming increasingly popular. Consumers are becoming progressively interested in understanding what they eat: food is no longer considered as just nourishment, but part of a lifestyle, therefore today’s products must not just be attractive, but also balanced from a nutritional point of view and made with ingredients that are processed lightly and additive free. In some cases, the policy maker also takes the initiative and transforms these trends, when legitimate, into specific actions to protect the consumer: titanium dioxide is an example.

How are the companies of Casa Optima Interpreting these trends?

The group Casa Optima consider it particularly important to satisfy the needs of the most attentive consumer: for this reason, the raw materials of our products follow a scrupulous selection process, to find the perfect balance between the technological needs of the pastry chef and the interests of the consumer, transforming market trends into value drivers that Casa Optima follow in the development of new proposals.

As I mentioned previously titanium dioxide is an example: in the last three years our innovation activities have focused on the elimination of this colouring, even before the European law proposal arrived.

Which ideas, products and formats of our companies will be the protagonists of the winter showcases?

We have various novelties ready for the pastry channel, some will be presented in the January catalogue, others during the major trade fairs scheduled in the coming months.

Before that date, my advice is to first browse through the Modecor Autumn/Winter catalogue, in which it is possible to view a wide range of chocolate decorations to finish and decorate desserts until Christmas. Additionally, I suggest you taste the great artisanal leavened product filled with one of our Giuso Lievicreme products, our range of products without preservatives, developed specifically to make the panettone made by our pastry chef clients unique.