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WITHOUT BUT WITH TASTE - INTERVIEW WITH ANDREA BARBAROSSA, INTERNATIONA PS MANAGER CASA OPTIMA

WITHOUT BUT WITH TASTE

Gluten free, Lactose free or Sugar free? The world of ‘products without’ is truly vast and above all in continuous growth to satisfy the requests of a clientele differentiated by culture, tastes, and traditions.

We spoke about it with Andrea Barbarossa who, joined Mec3 in 2014 as a technical demonstrator for the region of Lombardy, after having covered the role of Senior Product Specialist from 2017 for Central- Northern Italy and the world, since 2020 he is the International PS Coordinator Casa Optima for the brands Mec3, Giuso and Pernigotti Maestri Gelatieri Italiani.

The trend of ‘products without’ is continuously increasing also in the gelato sector. For what reason?

On the one hand, to satisfy the request of those who suffer from food allergies and intolerances, on the other to follow a health trend which has now become a true fashion, and because it is continuously proposed by the media, it has generated an increase in the demand for products ‘without’ also in the gelato parlour.  

 

How do the companies of the group Casa Optima respond to this market demand?

Our Research & Development have been working for years to offer gluten-free bases, be they creams or fruits as well as pastes and variegates.  The product portfolio of our companies includes lines dedicated to the preparation of gelato in water, soy and rice flavours or vegan crema bases. We have a wide range of bases without lactose and without added sugars, as well as all the flavourings necessary to give character to the flavours, like the pure pastes, vanilla and liquorice flavour or coffee, pistachio, and hazelnut with different bouquets of origin, toasting and colour, which contain neither milk nor gluten.

 

Which are the lines that support the artisans who wish to follow this trend?

Over the years we have succeeded to transform our traditional lines into ‘products without’ being careful not to alter their flavour and taste, with the aim of satisfying more and more customers with a unique product.

For example, for Mec3, we have created the Bases G and Quella G, both without added sugars, and Quella Dark, free from milk derivatives. For Giuso the most representative products come from the line Cuzco in the options BLACK, origin SAO TOME’ and SANTO DOMINGO, all gluten free and without added milk derivatives, but also from the world of fruit with the variegates Amordifrutta without preservatives and flavourings. Pernigotti Maestri Gelatieri Italiani proposes Vegan Bases as well as the renewed line Gelagel with pure cocoa mass from Ecuador, Santo Domingo, or Madagascar, each with unique aromatic notes, ideal for the gelato chef that wishes to offer a pure dark chocolate.   

 

Is this a fad of do you think this trend will continue to grow?

When we talk about ‘products without’ we must not just consider food intolerances but broaden our horizons to include the different types of consumption and trends in vogue all over the world, which oblige companies like ours to certify the quality and the transparency of products in order to increase business abroad.  Therefore, in this sense, yes, it is a trend that will continue to grow.

 

Which other trends should we keep an eye on over the next few years?

As a Group we are close to the needs of each market and build ad hoc products for every part of the world. My job is to collect the ideas and insights provided by our 40 Product Specialists present in five continents, and from there to start projecting and creating new products, trying to anticipate the trends that develop at any latitude and longitude.  Of course, we are already working on the novelties, but we will reveal them only at the next Sigep!