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Life Srl

Italy: Dried fruit increasingly popular

Davide Sacchi, Marketing & Communication manager for Life Srl (short for Lavorazione, Importazione, Frutta Essiccata - Processing, Importing, Dried Fruit), a company specialised in the processing and sale of dried fruit founded by Mr. Mario Tibaldi in 1940 in Sommariva Perno, a small town in the Roero area in the Cuneo province, talks about a positive season.

"For our sector, the months between October and December represent the peak of our activity, but in the last few years the trend has seen dried fruit also becoming popular in other months, leading to an 8% increase in 2012, which could reach 10% in 2013, especially due to walnuts, pistachios and peanuts." 

Davide Sacchi.

"This is due to our new approach, which substitutes the commonplace assumption which associated dried fruit with calories and festivities. This type of fruit is an important food supplement for our body and mind, ideal for people who do sports, work with their mind, or do not eat meat."

Just think of the high content of polyunsaturated oils in walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts, or the fibres in prunes. Thanks to the Nucis organisation, a campaign was organised to promote the healthy characteristics of the individual fruits- we will see the results over the next few months.

Today, with its 12,000 square metres and 100 employees, Life is one of the few companies with a roasting plant (recently renovated and homologated to reduce energy consumption) as well as a rehydration plant for prunes, and is therefore leading on both the domestic and international markets in terms of volume and turnover.

There has been a growth in both quality and quantity, thanks to the care they put in selecting raw materials (local and imports), food safety and certifications, the combination of experience and technological innovation and the improvement of storing techniques to preserve the characteristics of raw materials. 

Well-being and proximity are the two elements at the centre of the family-run company and to which the latest products are dedicated. Fruttelle
 is the leading new entry. Dried fruit is moulded into bars that are gluten free and combine the best raw materials: an extra energy boost for students, sportsmen or for whoever needs a healthy alternative to the usual snacks.

"This is a real innovation to us, and it was really successful from the first year it was launched in retailing, but it also pushes us to look for new sales channels because of its healthy characteristics."

"Despite representing 5% of the total turnover, proximity is most of all an ethic-social bet. We are the point of reference for all those producers who want to make money by working their land. Therefore, walnut cultivation is therefore our main project. This was also done with Madernassa pears (which are disappearing because other varieties are more competitive) and we have created a range of excellent products, which is called "Valore al Territorio" to distinguish them from the others."

"A significant agreement was also signed with Slow Food to safeguard local productions. We have endorsed some of their projects, among which the safeguarding of Siwa dates. Part of the earnings will be donated to the Slow Food foundation for biodiversity."

"In addition, two years ago we signed an agreement with the Faculty of Agriculture in Turin offering scholarships and medium and long term research projects for the requalification of territories, sharing our know-how, marketing and sales circuits."

"We have also become official suppliers of the academic tables, where haute cuisine meets our local products (PGI Piemonte hazelnuts, Madernassa pears, prunes from Roero and peaches from Cuneo)."

Life is also increasingly proud of the "Amici di pentola" group. It is a direct line with consumers and enthusiasts where there are tips and recipes with our products as well as innovative ideas to use dried fruit. We have also created a place to share ideas and experiences which is getting very popular thanks to social networks like Twitter and Facebook. "Happy Life" is our way of getting closer to consumers thanks to a game with contests and apps which serves as customer retention and is a way to get to know our clients better." 

Davide Mario Sacchi
Marketing & Communication manager 
Life s.r.l.
via Aie 28
12040 Sommariva Perno (CN)
Tel.: (+39) 0172 46221
Fax: (+39) 0172 46214

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