ITALMOPA launches campaign to raise awareness about Italian soft wheat flour

 ITALMOPA launches campaign to raise awareness about Italian soft wheat flour

Dignitaries at the ITALMOPA launch event in Mumbai

Rajkumari Sharma Tankha

After its successful launch at AAHAR, “Pure Flour from Europe”, the campaign managed by ITALMOPA (the Italian Association of Millers) and co-funded by the European Commission to promote exports of soft wheat flour in India and to raise awareness of their high quality, landed in Mumbai at Annapoorna -Anufood, an international trade show which was held from Sept 14-16. The two-year-long campaign will include other consumer and trade events with product demonstrations led by chefs featuring Italian foods like pizza, pasta, pastries and breads.
IN an email conservation with Life & More, Piero Luigi Pianu, Director of ITALMOPA, shares ore insights into the flour and the campaign. Excerpts:

What is the idea behind launching this campaign, and what are your expectations from it?
Italian flours have always been a widely-recognised reference point due to their high technological quality and health properties and are associated with typical food products showcasing the excellence of Made in Italy such as bread, pizza and pastry (for soft wheat flour) and pasta (for durum wheat semolina flour).
We have two expectations: to increase awareness of Italian soft wheat flour and its qualities among Indian consumers who for the most part consume only local products and to increase the export and market share of the promoted product in the target market.

India is already rich in wheat production, so why did you choose India for selling your wheat flour?
India is undoubtedly a producer of flour but the specific characteristics of its main flours (atta and maida) are quite different from Italian flour quality. The objective of the programme is precisely to make people aware of the distinctive characteristics of Italian soft wheat flour and understand its great versatility and potential use both for Indian products (naan bread, chapati, roti) and typical Italian products (pizza, bread, pastry, etc.). Another important element concerns the food safety of Italian packaged flour compared to loose flour, given that the latter still serves at least 80 per cent of the Indian market.

What are the salient features of soft wheat flours of Italy? How are these different from Indian wheat?
There are numerous types of Italian soft wheat flour: from white to wholemeal flours. It is important, however, to underline that all are high quality flours that have significant nutritional and health properties.
There are, therefore, no ‘better’ or ‘less good’ flours, but they are all excellent and suitable for a healthy diet, with a preference for any one flour made in relation to tastes and possible different nutritional needs.
The range of flours also includes special, wholemeal, organic, gluten-free or multi-grain flours. Furthermore, as previously mentioned, Italian flour is a packaged and safe product characterized by recyclable packaging also due to the particular attention paid by Italian millers to environmental sustainability.

Italmopa campaign
(L-R) Manuela Barzan , Project Manager, ITALMOPA, Ms. Devna Khanna, Director, i2i Consulting, Mr. Alessandro De Masi, Italian Consul General in MumbaI, Vanessa Cinelli , Project coordinator , ITALMOPA

Who is your target buyer, and how do you plan to impress upon them for buying your flour?
Through a preliminary analysis as well as a baseline survey on awareness of Italian flour in India conducted in the cities of New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore, the main targets have been identified as the following: a) consumers residing in large cities (in particular New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore), aged between 25 and 54, who are more open to the consumption of imported food products and with a medium-high income; b) importers, distributors and representatives of the food service industry (restaurants, pizzerias and hotels with restaurants).
To involve them, we are focusing on messages capable of highlighting tradition, sustainability (production processes with low environmental impact), versatility (ranging from typical Italian and European dishes such as pizza, fresh pasta, white bread and pastries to local dishes) and use of the promoted product by the most famous chefs and pizza makers worldwide.

Are there some specific dishes that Italian Soft Wheat Flour is most suited?
As already mentioned, Italian soft wheat flour, in its traditional and wholemeal versions, is suitable both for pizza, fresh pasta, bread and pastries and for the preparation of local dishes especially traditional Indian bread. Italian wholemeal flour can, in fact, replace Indian atta flour for the preparation of the traditional roti chapati. Traditional Italian flour can be used for naan and paratha, with an improved final yield compared to that of local flour.

Other than wheat, Indians consume other food grains like Jwar, Ragi Makka, Bajra. So, where would soft wheat flour from Italy fit in these food habits?
The Italian milling industry, which is the largest within the European Union, is also distinguished by its unparalleled ability to respond to any new need of its customers, whether industrial or artisanal and, therefore, consumers. Italian millers take into consideration new consumption trends, also investing in niche products through significant investment in research.

Pls share some figures regarding the present buying and projected one, after your campaign is over.
In 2021, Italy was the third country in terms of export of soft wheat flour to India with a value of US$ 108.000, preceded only by Sri Lanka (892.000 $) and the United Arab Emirates (400.000 $). Italy’s market share in relation to Indian imports of soft wheat flour was 6.6% in 2021 a notable increase from only 2.8 per cent in 2019.
The objective of the programme is to reach, by the end of 2023, an export value of about 3 million Euro e (7,700 tons in quantity). The market share is small compared to the enormous potential, but realistic, taking into account the large local offer and consumer preferences for local products, as well as the scarce presence of alternative products on the shelves of supermarkets, kirana and other forms of food distribution.


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