Discover the Italian products launched at Specialty Food Live!

SFA participants say cooking at home due to pandemic continues to increase. Consumers need variety, while pursuing physical and mental health.

The pandemic didn’t stop eager buyers and makers from around the world to attend this year’s Specialty Food LIVE! virtual trade show in January. At the Italian pavilion 17 sellers and ANICAV – Greatest Tomatoes from Europe, eight sellers participated, says Bill Lynch, president of SFA

Lynch told“The SFA Trendspotter Panel predicted more eating and cooking at home in 2021, and we will likely see the continued growth of the $158.4 billion specialty food category. With events like Specialty Food LIVE!, our Virtual Tasting Experiences, the launch of Infinite Aisle, and other initiatives, the SFA is working diligently on behalf of its members, and our industry as a whole.”


ValPizza introduced a frozen pizza that can be cooked in a pan“It is a new quick and sustainable way to cook pizza at home. The oven is not needed anymore, it will be ready in just 5 minutes in the pan,” said Marzia Pellegrini of ValPizza. The new product is a convenient way to eat pizza that reduces energy. It is a thin crust pizza made with a traditional recipe.

ValPizza in a pan is available in four different flavors: cheese (classic tomato and mozzarella), 4 Cheese, Pepperoni and Grilled Veggie

Ficacci Olive Co is going plastic free. The company will launch The PaperCup R, a fully sustainable packaging. Giuseppe Ficacci said, “Our innovation mood can’t be affected by any pandemic, and the 2021 hashtag at Ficacci is #plasticfree.” The new packaging will be available for Ficacci Olive Co’s best seller products: Black Kalamata and Green Castelvetrano.

Consumers can view the olives inside from a transparent head-sealing film. The material of the cup preserves the olives without brine and the cup is completely plastic paper waste recyclable

Farabella, a producer of exclusively gluten free foods, presented their new egg pasta line including tagliatelle and fettuccine pasta shapes. Also, on display at the trade show, Farabella’s Organic Gluten Free line that entered the U.S. market last year. In 2021, Farabella wants to focus on nutritional values in addition to promoting their company’s core values of taste, quality, and variety.

Tagliatelle uovo Farabella
Farabella’s new egg pasta tagliatelle shape. Currently, the line is not yet available for purchase in the U.S. but has launched in Europe

Renna, specializing in ready to eat Mediterranean recipes, introduced five new packs of mixed appetizers. The new product follows traditional Apulian recipes. Each are packaged in trays with an easy-to-open peelable film. The company believes the new products will satisfy the consumer’s need to bring variety and taste to the table.

One appetizer consists of seafood morsels, crab-flavored surimi, octopus in spicy sauce, “fantasy” surimi with shrimp flavor and “zefirino” peppers stuffed with tuna and capers. Another pack consists of marinated anchovy fillets, octopus, mussels, cuttlefish and prawns, all seasoned with a drizzle of oil.


Mintel’s Global Food Analyst, Melanie Bartelme, told consumers are likely to watch their spending due to COVID but willing to treat themselves with small indulgences to reduce the stress of the pandemic. Bartelme believes, “There are opportunities for food and drink to give consumers something special to break up the monotony of their days and create special moments. When it comes to health and wellness, consumers will be looking for food and drink products that can help them create small changes in their routines in the pursuit of improved physical and mental health.” 

“While there is potential in the long term for products that contain functional ingredients and other better-for-you formulations, right now, consumers are just trying to get by,”added Bartelme.

Changes in meal purchase and prep behaviors because of COVID-19.  Credit: Mintel 


Andrew Lynch President of Zipline Logistics led a panel at SFA on the grocery industry. Success on your brand is about taking control of your supply chain. Lynch offered five best practices companies can apply to succeed in the grocery industry.

  1. Get clear on chargebacks and out-of-stocks 
  2. Think beyond the customer pick- up 
  3. Perform a network analysis 
  4. Understand retail compliance 
  5. Create a logistics strategy that works 

Looking ahead to the rest of the year Katie Hagan, Senior Marketing and Innovation Leader at Mattson, offered her insight during a panel. Hagan believes, “Consumers crave variety. We are going to be pushing for more variety.”

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