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Mama's Pasta is also the best in Germany

Dulliken-based PPura won the Export Award 2015 in the Step-In category. Presented at the Forum for Swiss Foreign Trade and Investment organized by Switzerland Global Enterprise, it honors the firm's successful entry into a saturated German food market. 

Cousins Cemal Cattaneo and Maurizio Floccari were pursuing successful careers – one at a large company, the other as a sommelier. But in 2009 they gave up everything in order to start their own business, because as Italian gourmets they were unable to find any pasta or pesto that came even remotely close to the culinary standards of their mothers. Whether they could earn a lot of money from selling fine organic foods was initially irrelevant. In a way, it was about fulfilling a culinary mission of giving the world a chance to enjoy the excellent products from mom's kitchen. The marketing slogan "Passione e perfezione" is incorporated into the company's name (as "PP"), and simultaneously reflects the character traits of the two young entrepreneurs. Cemal Cattaneo brings with him a never-ending passion for good food, while Maurizio Floccari is a perfectionist to the core.

18 Months to Develop Products

Both attributes were key to their ability to create the different types of pasta, pesto, and olive oil. The pair stress how they wanted to spend enough time developing their products, even if it took up to 18 months. But the last word in terms of market readiness naturally went to the two mothers, whose homemade recipes – along with traditional Italian recipes – provided the inspiration for PPura's products. 

Cemal Cattaneo, Maurizio Floccari

Organic Produce from Puglia

What is it that makes PPura pasta and pesto so special? "The essence of Italian cuisine is to turn simple dishes into something special thanks to the very best ingredients," explains Maurizio Floccari. "Interestingly, that means our cuisine is closer to that of Japan than that of France. For me, the way to create the ultimate taste sensation every time is by spending ages searching for the perfect ingredients at the product development stage." For example, they combed the whole of Italy to find what is truly the best type of durum wheat for their pasta. This they found in Puglia, where the products are made in the traditional way. "When you close your eyes and smell our pasta you can imagine the wheat fields of Puglia before you," says Floccari. "It's also full of flavor and aromatic."

Cemal Cattaneo: "We would never compromise on our ingredients or look for cheaper alternatives for cost reasons. What's more, we don't use artificial flavorings or fragrances and flavor enhancers as a matter of principle." The organic label is important to the duo, and the quality also allows the products to command a higher price.

"Mama" Is Seal of Quality

It's not scientific research that guarantees the quality of the products but the clear reference to their moms: "Our promise to you is that we will only give you the best products, products deemed by our mothers – who we believe are two of the best but also two of the most critical cooks in the world – to be almost as good as their own creations. Otherwise, our mammas would give us a good ticking off."

Distributed from Switzerland

It's so simple and honest yet technically sophisticated in marketing terms, and is a good testimony for the distribution center in Dulliken, in Canton Solothurn. The personal nature of the pitch to consumers in a way helps create one big family, and the fact that the mammas are in charge of quality control forges an association with the customer's own mother. This also applies to the key export market of Germany, which has approximately 3,000 organic stores and 50,000 non-centrally organized retail outlets. PPura's entry to the market was helped firstly by a strong affinity for Italian cuisine among the German population and secondly by the fact that "Good As Mom's Home Cooking" is a mark of quality and identity in Germany, too. It therefore comes as little surprise that PPura also picked up Germany's Organic Brand of the Year Award.

Partnership with Charitable Organizations

Another characteristic of PPura is its cooperation with charitable organizations such as foodwatch and Switzerland's Slow Food. "Do a good turn and talk about it" is the unmistakable message welcoming visitors to the company's website: For each adult portion sold in Germany, PPura donates one child's portion to the Deutsche Tafel food bank organization; the total number of portions donated since November 2014 already stands at 40,647. This figure will already have gone up by the next time the website or Facebook page is visited. It's a good way to encourage people to buy, but only works because the products behind it sail through the household test.