Italian fresh convenience specialist La Linea Verde is venturing into organics, after teaming up with leading organic food marketer Alce Nero and organic fruit and vegetable supplier Brio (part of Italian fresh produce giant Apo Conerpo) to develop a range of high-end products under new brand Alce Nero Fresco.
The range, which is set to make its debut at the Sana trade exhibition in Bologna this coming September, will initially feature six types of bagged, ready-to-eat salad, three salad meals and four types of fresh soup, all of them promising superior taste and flavour.
For the companies involved, the decision to focus on developing a premium range of organic convenience products underlines the promising potential seen in a segment of the market that has performed especially well over the past few years, defying overall expectations in what remains an especially challenging food market and tapping into new consumer demand for easy-to-consume but also healthy and tasty products.
The Alce Nero brand, which is owned by a group of farmers and producers, has been around since the 1970s and is established in the Italian market as a premium provider of organic foods.
Its aim over the past five years has been to extend that brand to a number of new and high-value food lines, notably baby foods, with positive results. Now it is turning its attention to fresh-cut produce and other prepared items.
“With Alce Nero Fresco, we’re starting a new chapter in our history, and we are extremely happy that La Linea Verde will be our companion on that journey,” said the group’s managing director Massimo Monti.
“We are really proud to have an undisputed leader – on quality, efficiency and capacity for innovation – at our side,” Monti continued. “With Brio, which has been part of our group since 2011, and La Linea Verde we have built an exceptional partnership with prospects and potential, one that confirms and enhances both our confidence in the future of organic food as well as our conviction in the strength of the Alce Nero project.”
La Linea Verde’s commercial director Andrea Battagliola said his company welcomed the opportunity to expand into organics: “We are thrilled to be able to apply our many years’ expertise to Alce Nero Fresco, and confident that we are helping to write a story of certain success.”
Brio, for its part, will provide the raw material products that La Linea Verde then develops and processes to create the various branded product lines in the Alce Nero Fresco range.
Brio’s own commercial director, Tom Fusato, added: “We firmly believe that this collaboration can bring strong results for the fresh produce world and in particular for our member producers.
“We are confident that a commercial outlet for our production in the fresh-prepared food business will help to encourage new companies to switch to organics, which is ultimately our company’s mission.”