What does it mean to be a family-run business in the global digital age? The small venetian “pastificio” seems to have a say.
Pastificio, Italian for pasta factory. Behind this definition fall the most diverse realities from global corporations producing Italy’s most loved grocery in every corner of the world to smaller, niche-focused firms that rarely make it to the mainstream news.
Pastificio Rigo is one of the second: based in the sunny hills of Veneto, not far from Venice and surrounded by vineyards in the Prosecco region, the fourth generation of the Rigo family runs the business and successfully combines the craftsmanship and attention to detail of those who put their name, literally, on their work – with the sophisticated technologies and optimised operations needed to stand out in the demanding Italian market.
“Here pasta is consumed on a daily basis, nobody is willing to settle for neither less than outstanding quality nor more than a cheap price” states Matteo Rigo, interviewed for this article.
Decades ago, when faced with the increasing concentration of the Italian pasta industry into few, big players who could count on economies of scale, Matteo’s grandfather Arrigo decided to focus on special shapes of pasta and concentrate all efforts into addressing this niche better than anyone, anywhere and in anytime. Now Rigo supplies only a selected assortment of trending pasta formats including lasagna sheets, cannelloni and manicotti by partnering with global retailers and private labels to deliver the best certified Italian pasta worldwide.
The Italian business culture is substantially a traditionalist one, continues Matteo, the vast majority of companies are family run and small in size, when this translates in a warranty of genuine quality and passion for the craft, it is sometimes hard to convince senior management to seize the opportunities offered by digital disruption. Realities like RangeMe or Alibaba offer the great benefit of allowing European manufacturers to export their goods in new markets without the expenses and hassle of attending trade shows or hiring trade agents, it’s a privilege that would have been unthinkable just a decade ago.
Pasta products in general and the special shapes produced by the pasta supplier Rigo in particular are trending in virtually every market: from being a prerogative of Italian restaurants, a warm dish of “al dente” pasta is now becoming the main course of Sunday family reunions and millennial’s get togethers across all regions and backgrounds.
“Nothing says sharing as lasagna” The world favorite dish is between Instagram’s most used hashtags and Rigo seems confident in the success of its affordable bio, gluten free and wholemeal solutions as well as the standard durum wheat and egg options.
Today, in fact, the factory’s new products include other large pasta shapes such as Paccheri, usually served with lobster in the popular “paccheri all’astice” Italian recipe, and innovative flower-shaped cannelloni: it is in fact in the production of cannelloni tubes pasta that Pastificio Rigo prods mostly, partnering with virtually all household-pasta brands of medium and high quality and delivering the ingredient for the popular cannelloni ricotta e spinai (spinach and cottage cheese cannelloni) to consumers worldwide.
Pasta is a staple food worldwide, it is very affordable and has a long shelf life, making it ideal for every pantry, even if in some markets consumption is decreasing due to concerns about it being too fattening, or a general decrease in sugar consumption, it is an extremely flexible food, easy to prepare and, above all, extremely tasty.