San Remo creates an appetite for Australian pasta in India

December 2019

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San Remo, the privately owned pasta and speciality foodmaker, sees increasing demand and retail sophistication as key to its growth plans for India.

Based in Adelaide since 1936, San Remo has developed a reputation for innovation and quality in the competitive world of pasta. For more than 30 years, the company has been working with leading local researchers, universities and farmers to produce superior quality durum wheat. San Remo’s specially designed durum wheat mill is one of the largest and most sophisticated in Australia and Southeast Asia.

A market with solid potential

The Indian consumer market is evolving rapidly. More people than ever find homes in large cities, and the economically active consumer base is also growing. With increased travel and strong family ties across the world, Indian consumers are exposed to more international tastes than ever.

The imported food market in India is also growing. As a result, the country is an increasingly important part of San Remo’s export strategy. Starting from small volumes, San Remo is now a major supplier of pasta in a competitive market typically dominated by European brands.

‘Indian consumers consider Australian products to be high quality and safe for use, which builds and strengthens demand for our products,’ says Rod Diaz, Export Account Manager at San Remo Macaroni Company.

He describes the quality of San Remo pasta as the reason for its success, its dominant market share and ability to withstand the competition from lower priced, sometimes inferior imported products.

‘People want quality and our pasta tastes good, holds up to the cooking and holds the sauce,’ he says.

San Remo’s early distribution in India saw its products sold mainly through modern grocery and specialty food retailers. The rapidly evolving and well-accepted online market now also provides an important channel to reach consumers. Amazon India and Big Basket are online stockists of San Remo products. Besides exporting its dry pasta and specialty range, San Remo has commenced shipments of rice crackers.

Austrade assistance

Austrade has supported San Remo’s commercial development in India. When the company looked to change its distributor in the market, it worked closely with Austrade to find a suitable new distributor. Austrade assisted San Remo by identifying qualified importers and distributors across India. The company subsequently entered into a distribution agreement with one of them, based in South India.

Austrade has also supported San Remo’s retail and consumer awareness in the market. San Remo products were showcased at a recent retail promotion at Foodhall, India’s largest gourmet retailer. In another awareness-building activity, Austrade also highlighted San Remo pasta as part of the Taste of Australia food promotion events led by a celebrity Australian chef across major cities in India.

Listen to your consumers

Diaz confirms that Indian consumer interest in gluten-free and healthy products has been accelerating over the past few years. This has led to San Remo speeding up the introduction of more of its range in India. New products are expected to be available in major retailers from January 2020.

The multi-awarded San Remo continues to fill the gaps in the market as consumer behaviour shifts to a more active and conscious lifestyle. In Australia, the company’s Pulse Pasta was awarded Product of the Year 2019 in the pasta and rice category at the 2019 consumer’s choice awards. In October 2019, its Ready Pasta was voted Product of the Year in the same category at the 2020 Product of the Year annual consumer awards.

The success of San Remo in India is indicative of the increasing emphasis the newly emerging consumer market in India places on high-quality imported products. This market is expected to grow significantly in the next 10 years.