TO WHOM AND HOW TO SELL

The market

Below are some general considerations on the pasta industry, useful to better understand the market and assess its potential. This information is intended to make you more aware for designing the activity and increase the chances of success.
Until 2014, the pasta was considered the anti-crisis food par excellence. Only the latest data published by the Institute of Research slightly scratched a solid and profitable industry. The sale of this product is now almost exclusively entrusted to discount stores and supermarkets.
In recent months, the business of dry pasta suffered more in terms of turnover (-1.4%) and volume (-1%). This figure is due to the continuous promotions of the main industrial producers. In Italy, the average price of 1 kg of dough is 1.29 € and more than 48% of the national production volume is sold with discounts.
The dry pasta sales Sales volume in 2014 % Change 2013/2014 Sales by value in 2014 % Change 2013/2014
Hypermarket sale 107.271.211 - 6,8% 138.894.563 - 5,5%
Supermarket sale 450.578.870 - 0,9% 581.310.680 - 0,9%
Self Service 120.516.266 - 4,5% 159.895.973 - 4,7%
Total Italy 378.366.344 - 2,5% 228.101.220 - 2,4%

These significant changes at the national level result from several factors. The reduced purchasing power of consumers, and in particular the families, is certainly a factor to be reckoned with. The decisive factors, further, are the new eating habits: a few years ago, the lunch and dinner were a moment of family life. Today, the hectic times lead to having a quick lunch outside the home and, increasingly, you eat out in the evening also.
Ultimately, even the increase of diets and care of the body weight combined to contribute to a reduction in the daily amount of consumed pasta.
Negative changes in volume and value, are evident from the data published in the White Paper devoted to the pasta industry.
In contrast with these considerations, however, the data collected emphasizes significant growth in sales of fresh pasta. As an example: in 2014 the fresh egg pasta packaged sales grew by 4.9% in volume (8 million kg) and 4.7% in value (€ 37 million).
The packaged of fresh pasta is the main alternative to the dry semolina pasta and its reference market grew in 2014 by 0.7% in value and 0.8% by volume. Worth about 1.741 million usd to 1.151.6 million kg in US
This category, despite having a price much higher price than that of dry pasta, responded very well to the decrease in purchasing power.
The stuffed pasta is the main segment and covers 60% of the value of the category. Its turnover is growing by 1%, although the volume flex by 0.6%. As for the pasta, the US production is about 200,000 tons, of which just under half are exported. The noodles are by far the most popular, with 19% of demand, then followed by lasagna and fettuccine.
The request for egg noodles is 52% in the northern regions, particularly in the north-east (30%). This is the most dynamic sector, reaching + 4.7% in value and + 4.9% in volume. The main factors driving the sector of fresh pasta are innovation and product diversification. The reasons for this turnaround also reside in the spread of a food culture once the quality and authenticity of raw materials and products. Italians prefer to eat less but better and do not give up rediscovering the pleasures of the table, in fact, increasingly interested in the typicality of the territory and artisan food processing.
Even if the data refers to the industrial pasta consumption, still testifies to the growing interest in this kind of product. For these reasons, according to those who already work in the industry, today to open a fresh pasta shop can still offer valid opportunities for profit, although the market potential of fresh pasta particularly is not the same in all Italian regions.
In the North, in fact, especially in big cities, where the habit of making pasta at home has failed for several years, there is a concentration of outlets rather widespread that can cause a saturation of the local market. There may be more market opportunities for those who, instead, choose to open a fresh pasta shop in medium and small towns, not yet manned by numerous competitors and where the tradition of preparing pasta at home is gradually failing.
In addition to analyzing the market opportunities that the industry offers nationwide, to assess the real possibilities of success of its business is therefore considerably more important to evaluate the characteristics of the local environment where you want to work.
The market of fresh packaged pasta Sales volume in 2014 Change % 2013/2014 Sales by value in 2014 Change % 2013/2014
fresh stuffed pasta 48.229.363 - 0,6% 3836.159.130 + 1%
gnocchi 25.347.138 + 3,8% 78.026.700 +4,4%
fresh wheat pasta 24.660.836 + 1,1% 73.624.771 -1,1%
lasagna 8.486.680 + 1,5% 51.426.921 +0,2%
fresh egg noodles 8.646.680 + 4,9% 37.224.299 +4,7%

The consumption of pasta

Despite the crisis in consumption in recent years, in 2013 Italy was confirmed as the first country of pasta consumers, with an annual per capita consumption of 26 kg. The pasta remains, therefore, being the favorite dish by the Italians, because it was considered a low-priced and affordable food for all families.
In the ranking of the largest consumers follows Venezuela (13.2 kg), Tunisia (11.9 kg) and Greece (10.6). In the last places we find the United Kingdom with 2.5 kg per capita, followed by Japan with 1.7 kg, Egypt (1.2 kg) and most recently Ireland and El Salvador, with one pound of pasta consumed on average per inhabitant per year.
According to the survey "Italians and Pasta" conducted by Doxa and commissioned by AIDEPI, the Association of Sweet Industries and Italian Pasta, 44% of Italians consume this food daily. Almost about 26 million people. The most regular consumers of pasta are in the center and south of Italy and consume between 4 to 7 times a week. Those who declare to eat pasta once, twice or three times live especially in the North West.
Always according Doxa, the average ration is 87 grams. 25% of respondents say they consume whole wheat pasta, organic pasta 12% and 6% gluten-free.
Italian consumers of pasta, contrary to what you might think, is predominantly women. The consumption of this food is not relegated only to men. 50% of consumers is in fact quite willing to consume it even outside the home.
As for the most popular formats of pasta there is a decrease in demand for long pasta, which still maintains a significant market share. Growing sales of regional specialties such as Garganelli or Spaghetti Alla Chitarra.
In addition, it is slightly down the demand for semolina pasta. It is up sharply, however, the consumption of pasta made from other flours like kamut, wheat flour, corn and soybeans. A business worth about 70 million USD that for years now registered a good growth rate, especially in the north.
Per capita consumption of pasta in the world in 2013
Country Amount per capita (kg)
Italy 26,0
Venezuela 13,2
Tunisia 11,9
Greece 10,6
Switzerland 9,2
Sweden 9,0
USA 8,8
Iran 8,5
Chile 8,4
Peru 8,3
Germany 7,9
France 7,8
Russia 7,8
Hungary 7,5
Uruguay 7,5
Croatia 7,3
Austria 7,0

The production and export of pasta.

Italy is known around the world for the production of pasta. According to a AIDEPI estimate, the number of commercially formats on national territory is over 200 types. This variety comes from the union of industrial production with that of the artisan products.
In the world's list of top pasta manufacturing countries, Italy is the first one with 26% of the world's production and 70% of European production, confirming its position as the world leader in the production of pasta. According to the Survey Carried out by IPO data, after several years of slight decline in 2013 were produced about 3.3 million tons of pasta. The total turnover was around 4.6 billion Euros. Competing nations follow at a great distance, as shown in the following table.
Among the countries that import the largest amounts of Italian product, Germany is the first and scored a 4% increase compared to 2012. Other importing countries are France, the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan and Russia. Coldiretti has made the point on increments of Italian pasta exports in 2013. The data, elaborated starting from Istat documents, can be found in the table.
Regarding the field of fresh pasta, one of the most appreciated specialties of our country, the market is quite dynamic. Exports of this category continues to bring satisfaction to companies operating in international markets. In 2015, the turnover generated by exports alone amounted to US $ 3.2 billion.
World production of pasta in 2013
Country Quantità (t)
Italy 3.326.750
United States 2.000.000
Brazil 1.191.847
Russia 1.083.000
Turkey 1.000.000
Iran 560.000
Venezuela 372.515
Egypt 400.000
Germany 334.179
Mexico 330.000
Spain 254.876
Peru 250.000
France 233.566
Argentine 327.293
Tunisia 183.000
Canada 170.000
Greece 165.000

Customer segmentation

The potential customers of a production store and fresh pasta sales can be segmented based on different variables. We list and describe below the market segments of one of the possible segmentations:
  • Individuals interested in purchasing takeaway
  • Interested private consumption on the premises
  • Restaurants and other administration activities
  • Delicatessens and grocery stores
  • Fresh pasta shops
  • Gluten-free shops and other activities
  • Large retail chains.

Individuals interested in purchasing takeaway

The main and most important customers of a handmade fresh pasta store are private individuals who buy directly in the store the finished products and their takeaways.
This segment is considered primary as the direct sale to the final consumer enforces more profitable prices because it does not require the intermediation of other commercial entities.
It is a mixed segment, in terms of age, habits and spending power, but on average they are adults, educated and with good spending power.
They are interested in buying the fresh ingredients, prefer high-quality foods, appreciate the traditional cuisine and are prepared to buy healthy products, made with local ingredients and processed according to tradition. The frequency of purchase of this segment can be habitual or occasional type. Analyzing in more detail, we can split this segment into two subcategories: the residents of the area and the ‘casual’ consumers or tourists. For the first will be important to work on the loyalty of the segment, applying discount policies - such as loyalty card - or services as useful and free home delivery or the ability to reserve their fresh pasta, even personalize it. For the second, it will be very important to be visible and traceable, take care of the promotion and the appearance of your point of sale, with an exhibition of well-designed products and that draws attention.
Finally, if you choose to offer the online sales service it is necessary to know how to manage in a transparent and efficient way the web consumer. The elements that the e-commerce customer considers crucial to make the purchase are two: the shipping time (obviously in relation to prices charged) and the easiness of communication with the seller (via phone, e-mail, information form, feedback etc.). To win this customer segment it will be essential to adopt the right technologies and follow carefully the evolution of the world of electronic commerce.

Individuals interested in consumption on the premises

Those are individuals who go to the store not to buy fresh, bulk or packaged pasta, but to eat one of the handmade dishes. Also, in this case the segment is very heterogeneous, although you can identify several segments particularly interested in the consumption on site, such as those listed below

Students and workers

If the store is located nearby offices, shops, schools and universities, can be a good reference point for lunch for those who work and study in the area. Those belonging to this market segment will resort to the pasta shop especially in the midday break, having lunch directly in the local or using the takeaway service or delivery.
The selection criteria in this segment are mainly driven by the needs of time savings and therefore the speed of service. Those who turn to the fresh pasta store, also pays attention to the quality and authenticity of the ingredients with which it is possible to create cold and hot main dishes. Products must also be as light and digestible as possible. To adequately meet the needs of this type of clientele should know how to organize with maximum efficiency in order to not collapse during "peak" hours. It can be appropriate to offer fresh pasta at reasonable prices or have an agreement with the managers of the main suppliers in the area.

Adults

Very careful about the quality of food they consume, the customer segment of adults will be more willing to appreciate the quality of a pasta store, as it has a higher purchasing power and is more concerned and used to recognize and try quality products.
In addition, the adult segment is one that is well suited to the consumption of organic products and controlled, thanks to the recent discovery of a careful gastronomic culture of quality and territorial origin. In order to retain this type of customer, it is necessary to establish with them a relationship of sympathy and trust, perhaps remembering the tastes of the most loyal customers, and setting out in full view the ingredients with which the dishes are prepared.

Families

This market segment is made up of families, often characterized by the presence of children who occasionally give up home cooking to enjoy a lunch out. With generally traditional tastes, this customer segment favors genuine dishes, which can stimulate the appetite of even the smallest. Families can stay also very involved the removal and delivery.

Restaurants and other administration activities

Restaurants and other administration activities. The local administration activities may be interested in obtaining supplies on an ongoing basis of local products, genuine and not manufactured according to industrial methods. In particular, it will be high-end, or a or brand new restaurants, investing on the quality of raw materials and often looking for local, organic and niche, which is not easy to find at traditional sales channels.
The homemade pasta is very useful for enhancing dishes of these restaurants, often made of old recipes, and its typicality. Regarding the types of product to which it is concerned this segment; we will give priority to the large bulk of pasta formats. The restaurants and other activities of administration, in fact, usually have no problems with the perishable nature of the raw materials and have benefited from serving a fresh product packaged instead. In addition to restaurants, may be interested in buying craft products also taverns, pizzerias, hotels. These exercises will be interested in serving its customers with fresh ingredients.

Delis and grocery stores

Delicatessens, rotisseries and grocery stores that offer fresh products usually huddle commercial agreements with stores in the area, with the purpose of purchasing and selling quality products nearby.

Ways of cooperation involving a benefit for both activities

The pasta store makes sure the buyer is interested in consistent and continuous quantities; the Deli can praise of the exclusivity to offer an original product with high quality.
In general, it is quite simple to be able to bring their products, pasta and sauces, directly to the holders of these activities, with a visit in person and a tasting test. Usually, caterers and owners of grocery stores tend to have a limited selection of fresh pasta and sell it to increase their offer and then entice customers to attend their shops.
In the case of delicatessens and rotisseries the quality of raw materials contributes to the goodness of the dishes prepared and can therefore be a major contributor to the success of the activity.
In contrast to administration activities, delis and pasta stores are able to quantify sales with some precision and, with rare exceptions, do not require timely supplies out of the schedule. Usually, in order to satisfy these customers it is sufficient to organize one or two weekly deliveries.

Fresh pasta shops

Even the fresh pasta shops in the area in which it operates may be good customers. In fact, not always, the artisan pasta maker has a number of machines such as to enable the production of each kind of pasta.
This may lead, to have a large offer and to meet the needs of customers, taking in simple or filled pasta sizes and types that are not able to produce independently. Visit them in person, after carefully consider their products to check which are deficient. It can be a good way to win these customers and so increase your sales.

Shops and other activities for celiac

If the pasta shop produces gluten-free products or dishes, it may decide to propose to shops, restaurants, hotels and retail outlets offering menus or products for celiac customers. For shops, in particular, the cooperation with the pasta store of the area can be a smart way to increase the number of satisfied customers with different needs.

Large retail chains. Big Organized distribution

The first distinction to make regarding this customer segment is the possibility of selling fresh pasta in bulk or packaged.
The owners of large retailers interested in stocking up on fresh homemade pasta in bulk will only be those who have a counter for fresh produce. It is refrigerated counters in which the business owner serves customers, worrying to sell bulk cheese, sausage, meat, bakery products and, of course, fresh pasta and sauces. In this case, the relationship of collaboration and supply between the laboratory and the supermarket has the same conditions and characteristics of what is done with a grocery store.
The supermarkets that do not have corner for fresh products can, however, buy only packed homemade pasta, to be placed in the refrigerated section. It is a market segment that you cannot easily conquer precisely because of its palatability and, therefore, the high number of deals from pasta makers it receives. Basically this segment is willing to source from pasta makers who have a high production capacity more similar to industrial and artisanal pasta makers. The reason is simple. With rare exceptions, purchases made from an entire chain of supermarkets addresses only a pasta shop able to guarantee a constant supply to all retail stores, locally, adhering to the same chain.
Getting in touch with a procurement office is not an easy task. Unless you have a high productive structure, it is very difficult to meet the requirements of this type of customers, due to the quantity of products to sell, and the competitiveness compared to other stores that are able to produce higher quantities of pasta and, therefore satisfied with a smaller sale price.
In general, for a pasta store that is small to medium size, it may be preferable, in the first years of activity to focus on the sale of bulk pasta.

Types of competitors

It is essential to know the characteristics and operating modes of the most important types of competitors, typologies that for a production store and sale of fresh pasta are:
  • Artisan pasta;
  • Supermarkets and shops with fresh counter;
  • Takeaways and delis;
  • Stores of gluten-free products;
  • Fast-food restaurant business

Artisan pasta

The other pasta stores are the most formidable competitors for anyone starting a pasta business as they offer the same type of product and, if the store is opened, they can count on more experience and loyal customers
They have a good selection of pasta and sauces, run-over time in terms of dose and timing of deterioration, and if they offer a good quality product, they also have a loyal clientele over time, unwilling to abandon them. For these reasons, when choosing the location you must take the utmost care not to start the business in a street where there are other successful pasta stores.
However, you must not be discouraged by the presence of formidable competitors. With fancy initiative, it is possible to vary the offerings, managing to fill the spaces left by competitors. This might happen to the terms of product, for example by undertaking particular types of stuffed flavored dough, or in terms of service, for example through the consumption service in place.
Furthermore, depending on the specialization of the store, it is also possible to establish with the competitor a working relationship providing for the supply of types of pasta that you cannot produce.
Finally, you can give greater strength to the offer of both stores creating joint advertising campaigns initiatives. For example, encouraging for a preset period of ravioli consumption, proposing a free tasting at a particular time of the day, or organizing yourself to discount the prices and publicize the proposal dividing the costs of the promotion.

Supermarkets and shops with fresh counter

Supermarkets and shops with fresh counter. Business activities, autonomous or belonging to large retailers, that have a counter for fresh, are direct competitors of the pasta store in selling fresh pasta in bulk. All other activities, however, concur with the pasta shop because they provide packaged fresh pasta, both industrial and hand made. In both cases it is a severe competition on average since the freshness and wholesomeness of the product of the store are definitely superior to those of a
Business, self-employment or belonging to large retailers, who have a counter for fresh pasta are the direct competitors in the sale of fresh pasta in bulk. All other assets, however, concur with the pasta because they provide packaged fresh pasta, both industrial and artisan.
In both cases, it is a severe competition on average since the freshness and wholesomeness of the product of the store are definitely superior to those products which, although fresh, underwent through packaging and transport. In addition, the consumer, aware and attentive to the quality of the raw material and the traditional dough processing, will certainly prefer to buy directly from the shop, for cultural reasons and land sustainability.

Takeaways and Delis

They are actually quite common throughout the country, however, have suffered with the economic crisis and the decrease in spending by customers and, in recent years their capacity, are undergoing a downsizing. Compared to a store of fresh pastas, they are especially fearsome competitors in offering prepared dishes for takeout or consumption on the premises.
The takeaways and delis offer a more diverse range of products of a pasta store; then they offer the customer the advantage of being able to do a little shopping in the retail outlet. However, only on rare occasions, Delis prepare on site the fresh pasta, they sell. Having to restock of this raw material from producers, the fresh pasta product guarantees the rotisserie a lower mark-up. Finally, the store can act as a supplier of gastronomy, transforming this competitor to a customer.

Outlets of gluten-free foods

The stores for those suffering from celiac disease are spreading widely throughout the country. They offer a wide variety of products: bread and substitutes, pasta, rice and cereals, flours and preparations, sweets, cakes and snacks, sauces and condiments, beverages, frozen foods, products related to the holidays.
To counter this type of competition, the pasta store should focus on the freshness of its products, offering dishes that are difficult to find in the market and that combine taste and culinary tradition.

The fast food business

By offering consumption service in its place, the pasta store arises as a competitor of the Fast-food catering business in the area. It can be a coffee shop, sandwich bars, bakery, soup stores, fast food, fruit store, creperie, ethnic takeaways - such as Chinese food or kebab , food truck, and all the other competitors can offer you a fast and tasty lunch. To counter this competition, the pasta store can focus on the high quality of its products and on some attention to the service.
Just as the restaurant, the pasta store offers a warm traditional dish but does so by allowing the customer to save time and by giving the opportunity to taste it where he wants. In addition, it is important that the pasta store develop a competitive price policy, using specially discounted lunch menu or loyalty cards and discount coupons. For this purpose, it is also quite useful to have an agreement, with the Ticket Restaurant companies.

How to identify and assess the target market customers

A store that makes and sells fresh pasta, is an activity that is aimed at the local market constituted by those who live or work in the area in which the store is located at. If you start the business in a tourist resort, a good part of your customers may be composed of tourists, usually eager to learn about local food. Therefore, the volume of potential demand vs the products/services offered must be calculated on a case-by-case basis.
It is not easy to have a prior certainty about the success of the activity that you intend to undertake, since it much depends on the "goodness" of the chosen location. A choice that determines the type of customers who frequent the store. For example, a fresh pasta shop located in the city center should be able to attract customers from all over the urban area, while one is located in a suburban district can count, probably only on local residents.
The volume of potential demand for different products/services offered. It must be quantified based on the catchment area and the demand segments to which it is addressed. It therefore becomes necessary to know, in principle, and as appropriate:
  • The number of people present in the geographical area within which it intends to operate
  • The number of people working in the area, such as workers in offices, small businesses and shops in the area
  • The number of people whom for various reasons walk in the area
  • The number of potential tourists in the different periods of the year. As far as possible it would be helpful to have more information on the types of potential customers by knowing, for example
  • Breakdown by gender
  • Breakdown by age group
  • The average per capita income
  • Habits, consumer behavior and lifestyles. This data can be obtained from several sources, including these
  • The registry office of the municipality regarding gender and age of the resident population
  • The tips of the constituency in which they will operate, in case of a municipality large
The Promotion and the Tourist Information Offices, the proloco, etc. regarding arrivals and tourists in the area, also broken down by country of origin. It is also important to direct inspection, with visits on site, to see for yourself the characteristics of the area where you plan to start your own business, traffic flow and circulation. To assess the market potential is not essential to be in possession of very precise data. It is important however to compare, in principle, the potential of the different catchment areas and the different market segments to choose the best business formula.

How to identify and assess the target market competition

To assess the menace of competition is necessary to identify which and how many competitors are present on the reference market of the new enterprise, considering the various types listed above and illustrated, that we repeat below:
  • Artisan pasta makers
  • Supermarkets and shops with fresh counter
  • Takeaways and delis
  • Stores of gluten-free products
  • Fast-food business
Of course, should be considered, including the types listed, only those that offer the same services and products you intend to offer or services and replacement products. It will be appropriate to consider, in addition to those listed, any other types of competitors in the market.
The most effective procedures to locate the competition of a fresh pasta shop that works in a given local customer base are the following:
Explore directly, in person, in the area where you intend to start the task the presence of competitors; Consult the Yellow Pages of the locality and the surrounding area to where you want to work (see items "Gastronomie, delis and takeaways", "Pasta - retail", "Supermarkets, department stores and shopping centers");
Go to the Chamber of Commerce of the province in which you want to work where you can request, for a fee, the Office studies the list of enterprises in a particular category operating in the province;
Contact the regional and or provincial associations. After identifying their competitors, you need to research as many information as possible about breadth, price policy, distribution, promotion and customer loyalty. This information is used to see if you will be working in a market still totally or partially uncovered, and therefore with a greater freedom to structure their own business, or if the market already has numerous competitors with established position and significant market share. In this second case it will be even more important to know the characteristics of the competitors, their strengths and weaknesses, in order to understand if there are still spaces to enter the market through differentiation policies and diversification. To acquire this information, we recommend
Ask questions, where possible, to customers of competing companies Consult the Yellow Pages to locate the products and services offered by competing firms and advertised in the boxes Collect information from suppliers of competitors, to know the quality and prices of products and services that the competition offers
Visit, on the occasion of exhibitions and fairs of the sector, the stands of rival companies to collect the promotional material they provide, and/or ask for information

Marketing strategies

There are many marketing actions relating to four different factors or "levers." In technical language these levers are called the "four Ps": Product, Price, Place, Promotion.
The four types of actions or levers therefore relate to the following factors:
  • Product/service
  • Price
  • Distribution
  • Promotion

Politics Product / Service

For a pasta store, it is appropriate to consider the quality of products and the quality of service.

Product quality

The quality of products is a key element for the success of this activity. To offer products of good quality the pasta store must:
  • Learn about the preparation of the dough recipes
  • Use quality ingredients
  • Offer a good selection
  • Wrap the dough in the best way
  • Knowing how to schedule production
  • Constantly clean the machines
  • Know the regional standards for the production

Know the pasta preparation recipes

The pasta maker, in order to be able to sell its products and rely on word of mouth benefits must be able to prepare all types of pasta chosen (simple, egg, filled, flavored and regional) at the highest quality and according the dictates of tradition. To acquire this knowledge, the pasta maker may attend vocational training courses organized by individual associations, practice for a few months in another pasta store, consult the best recipe books and read magazines. They will, then, improve his culinary skills by suggesting changes of taste and creative touches, to bring out your production from the competition. Use quality ingredients. It is important to treat with the utmost caution the purchase of the ingredients and, therefore, the choice of suppliers.
It is important to treat with the utmost caution the purchase of ingredients and, therefore, the choice of suppliers. The goal must be to choose, among many suppliers that offer the best quality / price ratio.
In the long run, it definitely pays off to buy raw material at a slightly higher price as long as first choice rather than saving money with the risk of buying ingredients that are not fresh or poor. It is sufficient, for example, that only one egg was added in the dough is deteriorated to produce a paste of very poor quality. Even before preparing the dough, you should test the freshness of the products to be used and obtain supplies of raw materials as much as possible from producers, mills, farmers and ranchers in the area.

Offer a good assortment

The variety of products offered, is one of the strengths of the pasta store. The parameters for determine this amount are different, all very important. It deals with compliance with local gastronomic traditions, of respect for tastes of their consumers and respect for seasonal products. Precisely in this respect, provide for summer alternative preparations - such as cold pasta and stuffed with fish - can be a good way to counter the natural decline in sales recorded by these activities.

Wrap the dough in the best way

Wrap the dough in the best way. The fresh pasta is highly perishable, even during a short transit. To increase the durability you can treat the packaging, taking containers resistant materials suitable for transporting foodstuffs. In addition, you can increase the "shelf-life" of the product by subjecting the dough to pasteurization. Finally, the store can also choose to sell fresh homemade pasta vacuum packed in a modified atmosphere.

Production

Knowing how to plan production. As mentioned, the fresh pasta retains intact its organoleptic properties for a maximum of 5 days. There are in fact certain types of stuffed pasta - for example stuffed with cottage cheese and meat, or fish - that retain their freshness for a maximum period of even more limited time, which can be a maximum of two days. When ordering raw materials to its suppliers of trust and planning the production, it is therefore essential to make the extra effort to calibrate both purchases that production on the basis of those who are expected to be the store, to avoid running the risk not to sell fresh pasta or being forced to throw a portion of the pulp produced.

To whom and how to sell C

Constantly clean the machines

Pasta or residues of filling inside one of the machines can deteriorate the taste and therefore the quality of the dough. So you have to clean up thoroughly the machinery for the production immediately after using it.

Quality of the service

As in all the activities in which you are in contact with customers, the staff must always be friendly and courteous with the public. It is best to remember especially the regular customers, so make them feel pampered.
Talk to customers can also be helpful to understand if the food is acceptable or if you could improve or replace. When you are selling, you must be able to respond to each question, for example on ingredients, methods of preserving and cooking times.
You need to carefully learn about each product that is sold as well as understand the attention paid to the preparation of the dishes. The waiting times must be reduced, being careful, however, not rushed and just seem treating the customer that you are serving currently. All employees must work together in a coordinated way, to make the job easier. Another important point not to be underestimated concerns the environment. Hardly the customer will come back to the store if the store is dirty and neglected, so the place must be pleasant, always neat, clean and with attention to detail.

Price policy

Is the set of choices concerning the definition of the price of sale of the different products and services. In principle, as in every craft, where it is the artisanship to constitute the added value compared to raw materials, the income from the sale of the finished product is still quite high compared to the costs incurred by the farmer.
However, in setting the prices of products should also be considered those charged from any competition in this area.
Only in the more processed products such as ready meals especially sought after, it is possible to implement a differential pricing policy, focused on the rarity and originality of the product. In this case, the consumer is willing to pay a higher price for what he recognizes as a special product, not available in other stores.
The price also varies depending on the type of customer (end consumer, catering, shops etc.). The increased price that can apply the store is reserved for products sold directly to the final consumer. In addition, there may be a higher mark-up on products produced to special order or for those with celiac disease.
To be sold to business owners the prices of catering will be lower. To have good profit margins you need to establish ongoing relationships with these business owners over time and quite substantial orders. Finally, as some services result in extra costs that should not be underestimated (think of the delivery in terms of vehicle, transportation costs and personnel) is preferable to deliver them free of charge to the customer or apply a minimum premium.

Distribution Policy

If the pasta shop sells fresh pasta of its production directly to final consumers in the store, it is not meaningful to consider other distribution channels. In addition to the final consumer you may consider the possibility of selling the products, at lower, prices to other artisan pasta makers, restaurants, delis, takeaways, food stores, supermarkets and possibly.

Promotion policy

We list and describe below the promotional media that can be more effective to introduce this activity to your potential customers.
What promotional means to use. For a store that makes and sells fresh pasta the main promotional media that can be used are the following:
  • Opening party;
  • Word of mouth;
  • Leaflets
  • Fairs, festivals, village festivals;
  • Free tasting demonstration;
  • Loyalty card and discount coupons;
  • Sign and road signs;
  • Website;
  • Presence on blogs and social networks;
  • Local marketing and geolocation online;
  • Reviewed portals;
  • Portals citizens for online ordering;
  • Yellow Pages / Online Yellow Pages;
  • Proposals through coupons;
  • Local newspapers;
  • Advertising in local newspapers for free insertions;
  • Neighborhood newspapers, parish bulletins;
  • Local radio;
  • Promotional initiatives with other industry players.

Opening Party

The opening ceremony is one of the promotional actions that proves more effective. It is, in fact, a cool way to launch the new initiative. It is appropriate to invite the largest number of people: friends, acquaintances, but most journalists who can bring in the papers the event. We must send them a written invitation, also via e-mail, at least 4/5 days before the inauguration and a reminder 2/3 days before the event. You do not need to overdo it with the advance because you risk that the initiative is forgotten.
You could then arrange for the publication in local newspapers, local fees may apply, a publicity photo that portrays the staff, the date and time of the event inauguration. You must locate within each newspaper reporters who handle the local news and try to establish an ongoing relationship with them from the beginning the activity: it will be easier in the future, contact them to inform them of the proposed initiatives current.
If the opening party of the store is presented with a good image, by distributing, for example, free tastings and gift certificates, you can rely on the advertising of all those attending will do. If there are journalists of local newspapers, it is appropriate to organize the inauguration in the morning, because in the afternoon, usually, are committed to the newspaper. If you decide to call the television is good to set an appointment with them a few minutes before the start, so that they can carry out the interviews and then devote yourself to shooting.

Word of mouth

For this type of activity is a very effective promotional form, moreover at no cost. If the products are good and genuine and the service is prompt and efficient (such as home delivery or online sales), customer satisfaction is a great advertising vehicle, since it is very likely that those who were satisfied tips to friends and acquaintances to contact the laboratory for the purchase of handmade pasta.

Flyers

In the launching phase, for activities with the local market, flyers are often used as a promotional tool. A campaign of leafleting may provide, for example, the creation of 5,000/10,000 leaflets, usually in A5, 21x15 cm format, distributed in areas adjacent to the pasta shop.
To the final consumer, who represents the most important part of clients, the leaflets can be distributed directly to passers-by at the main streets of the walkway, or dropped off at shops, supermarkets, gyms etc. or in the mailbox of the condominiums. A foresight to increase the level of reading of this promotional message might be to insert the flyer in the letterbox in a white envelope. This way it is more likely the flier is read. Other expedient to increase the redemption and quantify the commercial returns of this promotional strategy can be to insert in the envelope, for example, a gift voucher/discount.
In general, it is very difficult to quantify the economic returns resulting from leafleting campaigns because it is not easy to ascertain that it was indeed made a successful deployment. On average, however, the return is around 5 per 1,000.

Fairs, festivals, village festivals

The exhibition and sale of your products with various kinds of gifts at festivals, fairs, festivals organized locally, can be a great way to gain visibility and give the opportunity to the public to know and delve into the world of typical foods offered by the pasta shop.
Some of the visitors will be curious by the stand and choose later to visit the store. It may be useful for this purpose, to offer the free tastings.

Try free tasting

Try free tasting. Offering customers the opportunity to taste your products is a good way to be known, especially in the months immediately following the opening of the store. And is at once a good way to launch new products and gain the sympathy of customers. In the days and hours of greater influx of customers you can, for example, prepare a portion of gnocchi served with a special sauce or a taste of ravioli to offer the customers.

Loyalty cards and discount coupons

It is distributed to clients of the pasta shop of tiles to enable them, after a certain number of purchases or the achievement of a certain amount of expenditure, to have giveaways of products, to enter the draw for a loyalty bonus or have a certain discount.
The most widely used formula and appreciated by customers provides, beyond a certain threshold of spending, a discount on cash purchases or subsequent drinks. In the case of discount coupons, a margin predetermined discount is practiced, on any product or only some, usually for a specified period and with the purpose of encouraging the purchase.

Signs and road signs

One immediate tool, impactful and lasting in time to make your business known is the sign. Since the pasta store is a traditional activity, the owner will have to bet on a name and an instantly recognizable logo and that is easily remembered. The signs can be put around the room, to "accompany" the customers and make the activities more visible. Is definitely important revealing if the pasta shop is located in an area of poor visibility.

Website

In order to use the coupon system is necessary to ensure completion of a website, to be delegated to a specialist. The site needs to present the products offered at the store in a clear and attractive way. The pages must have clear content, effective and simple explanations. The texts have to bring out the authenticity of products, describing the high quality of the ingredients.
The website must be easily searchable. Some of the pages and content that can make up the site are:
  • About us: a brief explanation of the activity and who is dealing with it. If you add the photos of those who manage the various activities, the site becomes more dynamic and youthful
  • Where we are: it is very important to enter the address, adding the instructions and an interactive map of the area to make it easily accessible. It is useful to say if there are bus stops in the surrounding areas or parking lots, not to entice customers in the area to go to the store.
  • Products: it contains a description of the types of pasta for sale characteristics. The list can be divided into type of product: fresh pasta, sauces, other products. For every type of food you can refer briefly to the roots, and then dwell on how it is made in the laboratory and with what ingredients. The organic ingredients very attract consumers, so it is appropriate to investigate this issue. And if the point of sale are traded food for celiac, you can dedicate a page on the site to describe gluten-free food products.
  • Contacts: e-mail address, telephone number of fixed or mobile phone. Important to offer the service of reservation of products or to ask for surrender at home. You may also include a form for questions and to be contacted in a simple and faster way by the customers.
  • News: contains events and new products that you want to indicate to the public.
  • Photo and video gallery: photos and videos of the store, the laboratory stage of production and finished products. You should accompany each photo with a caption that explains the content.
  • Shopping Cart: Cart is expected in e-commerce web sites, ie a website that allows the end user to be able to make an online purchase; This section must be easy and precise, in this way it is more reliable for the consumer and makes you want to complete the order. Customers will have the opportunity to purchase the products and, if applicable, pay electronically by credit card, Paypal or bank transfer. A poorly structured site, where you can not enter into a payment is not a good business card. The price must be accurate and also you must provide with the delivery and shipping times. A website can be a second display, virtual, for the business and attract potential customers even in areas of the city away from its location.

Presence on blogs and social networks

In recent years, it comes more and more frequently business opportunities that may be seized using social media marketing.
A great way to raise awareness of the pasta shop to a large number of people is dedicating a blog or a page on a social network (Facebook, Twitter, MySpace etc.).
The blog is a particular website that needs to be constantly updated with company news. It is a more conversational and personal than a traditional site. It is a sort of diary periodically updated where you mention new products and services, you give information also not strictly related to the store, but that might be of interest to customers, explaining the activities, tell them curiosities about the company. You may for example decide to publish one or more recipes a week, or give some advice on the kitchen, on a regular basis to increase reader loyalty.

The most frequently used social media are Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus

You can decide to use them in two ways: first by simply registering and using them in the same manner in which you manage a blog, inserting news. Alternatively, you can use social media to implement a paid advertising campaign indicating the target on which you want to focus more. As on social networks the key word is interaction, in addition to publishing photos of the handmade products and information on how to reach or contact the pasta shop, you should propose a survey to allow potential customers to express opinions on their favorite products, on how the service could be improved and so on. To attract customers, you can then use Facebook to publicize the fresh pasta store or the daily specials.

Local marketing and geolocation online

In recent years, in addition to traditional marketing methods new opportunities have been developed to raise awareness at the local level and create a loyal customer network. One of these is made possible by online geolocation apps like Foursquare, Google Places and so on, that allow you to share your location via check in in the clubs, shops, museums that you attend. Make your store geo localizaile and "taggable", means to promote it among users of these social networks, which will provide advice and comments on the activities generating a virtual word of mouth that can be a good source of promotion. To get more check in you can offer a small discount to those who geotag the pasta store.

Reviews of portals

IIf the pasta shop has an area, where you can eat the dishes or if it offers the possibility of take away, you may be evaluated on the review sites.
Creaimpresa kit The most famous internationally is called Tripadvisor, but the success of these portals is so large as to warrant increased attention by all the experts in the hotel and catering industries. Created as sites where you review travel, now these portals gather opinions at 360 ° on a wide variety of services: hotels, flights, restaurants, events and more. Each user, simply by registering, can express an opinion, usually in a scale of 1 to 5 or 1 to 10, on the various aspects of the visited and write a few lines in which he recounts his own experience, to recommend for or the reader try it. Despite recent controversy about the reliability and authenticity of judgments - because the medium is suitable, in fact, to an instrumental and serial use - the online review portals are increasingly visited and are an important input for a feedback 'activity as a pasta store even more if newly opened.
Nationals’ portals orders are open 7 days out of 7 and make deliveries from approximately 12:00 to 15:00 for lunch and from 19.00 to 23.30 for dinner. Purchases made through national portals must have a minimum spending (which is around 15 USD) and are charged at delivery (5/6 $). Minimum spending and the delivery costs go up with the increase of the distance between the local and the customer's home. Payments can be made on delivery, cash, or online by credit card. Yellow Pages/Yellow Pages online pages. These promotional tools are for many activities, especially at the beginning, one of the only means used to be known. Even for a workshop of fresh pasta may want to place your names in these publications or the www.jellowpage.com site. The reference categories can be "Food - Local Products", "Gastronomie, delis and takeaways", "pasta - manufacturers", "Pasta - retail", "Pasta - machinery and equipment."
As for the paper version, the costs may vary from province to province. They vary also, according to the option chosen from the various available and the size of the space devoted to your business. With the online Yellow Pages, however, potentially you will reach a nationwide market. The user can conduct research on the network throughout the national territory. The site of the Yellow Pages is a resource to be reckoned with. The homepage of this site gives you the ability to search based on a twofold argument: the work performed and the place where you work. Being well positioned allows you to summarize in a conspicuous box all the useful contacts and to have a personal statement containing a brief description and the location via satellite street map. In addition, there is a collection of reviews of the best service assets divided by location.

Offers through coupons

For some time, some websites allow you to make your business known locally, offering their services and products at super discounted prices, by purchasing a coupon. The most famous is Groupon, which collects offers from professionals in a wide range of sectors, from catering to travel, passing through the purchase of products or the provision of services. Organizing geographically coupons, the site proposes the offers to its members through a newsletter system. The customer, directly from the site, buy the coupons that interests them and submit it to the local dealer to obtain the service / product at the discounted price agreed. Sites of this kind, having established throughout the national territory, are an excellent promotional basis for a pasta store.

Local newspapers

Can be an effective promotional means. On them, you can do simple ads or even buy real boxes of different sizes or advertising space, variously framed in order to highlight the content.
To advertise a task as that of the pasta shop, the insertion ideal location is in the local news pages. The identification of newspapers where it may be more conveniently purchased the ad space should be made comparing the acquisition cost of the space and the degree of diffusion of the newspaper itself, with emphasis on the players that make up the market segments in which we want to address primarily. Regarding the cost, it varies a lot very not only by newspaper newspaper, but also in relation to the frequency of ads and to the output days. We have to assess, in fact, that every newspaper has one or two days a week in which the space devoted to ads is greater. By posting an ad at fixed intervals you can check interesting discounts, even up to 50% of the list price. If you choose a particular location, the cost increases considerably.
Creaimpresa Even local newspapers that publish free ads may be used as a valuable advertising tool to raise awareness of the activities. On them, you can buy wide paid advertising spaces at reasonable prices (Free admission is granted only for private advertisers). Some are popular neighborhood by neighborhood and contain the advertising of business owners who are active in a given area.
Even the free newspaper, you can insert promotional box; considering that their spread is a national, they can bring a good redemption.
Finally, you can consider the possibility of doing an ad that includes a discount coupon for customers who arrive with a copy of the newspaper. A way that also allows you to calculate the returns generated by this type of promotion.

Neighborhood newspapers, parish bulletins

Are quite interesting promotional means. If the area where you want to work has editors of local weekly or monthly newspapers, you can consider purchasing a small advertising space on them. This form of fairly immediate advertising is effective because it allows, with little significant costs, to communicate directly with potential customers who live or work in the area where the activity takes place.

Local radio

Can be used to publicize the activities above to be known by the end consumer segment. The radio choice, on which broadcast your commercials should be made taking into account who is your audience. If you start a traditional business, better prioritize stations listening by mothers and the elderly, rather than those heard by young people and teenagers, those who rarely deal with grocery shopping, but might be customers if you offer consumption on the spot. To this end, so it is worth to make an overall assessment of local broadcasters and, among others, select the most appropriate in relation to the type of audience-customers that you want to reach.
In the eventual use of the radio, you must also pay a lot of attention to choose the times of dissemination of advertisements. The type of audience, in fact, can also vary in relation to different time slots of listening. Regarding the radio messages, we must consider that the public on which must act is usually "careless". They must be transmitted with a certain frequency, a characteristic almost more important than the content.

Promotional initiatives with other industry players

Some of the promotional initiatives analyzed above may be advantageously if performed in collaboration with other business owners of the sector and/or the area. This would make it possible to consistently break down promotional costs that might otherwise be unsustainable by the individual entrepreneur. Moreover, by doing so you would be able to give greater resonance to the promotional activities undertaken.

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