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Rondanini Salumi, the relaunch is a family story

Exclusive interview with Annamaria Bruno, CEO of the brand

A new site and new products, Rondanini Salumi is preparing to face the new year with a long-term investment plan and a debut in new markets.

Rodanini is a historic brand of cured meats, born in 1925 in Busto Garolfo (Mi) and, in almost a century of life, it has undergone many transformations. It has had some difficulties, but it has always stood out for its ability to make excellent products and for the seriousness and preparation of its employees. In 2000 the company was acquired by the Cividini family of Bergamo, which for generations has been successfully engaged in the construction sector and in the development of important real estate operations. Luca Cividini is in fact passionate about the history of the company and relaunches its management. Now driving with her children is Annamaria Bruno, Luca's wife, who has taken on the role of sole administrator.

How does this company stand out from the others?

It has never succumbed to the temptation to lower the quality levels, and therefore the price of its products, but it has never been supported by a brand enhancement campaign. Rondanini therefore has the history, tradition and quality of its products as its strengths.

What impact has it had to find yourself running a company so far from your core business?

Rondanini entered the business of my husband's family about twenty years ago and, when he passed away in October 2019, my children and I inherited its ownership and management. I assumed the position of sole administrator of the company in November 2019 and I dedicated the difficult year just passed to understanding what it meant to manage an industrial sausage factory with the history of Rondanini behind it, what were the priorities and what I could expect from the company and the company from me.

What initial situation did you find and what are the development plans within the next 5-10 years?

As soon as I arrived at the company, unfortunately in a traumatic way, I found a bit of disbelief and bewilderment on the part of the employees, but also a great desire to do, to invent, to renew to overcome the last two years - coincided with my husband's illness - in which he worked mainly on behalf of third parties. With the production manager, Davide Biasion , we made a bet on the future, deciding to focus on the quality of our products, recovering the old recipes of Mrs. Maria Saldarini Rondanini, a courageous, determined and passionate woman who made the company grow to the point to be awarded, in 1967, with the honor of Knight of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.

What has the new management brought?

We have launched an investment plan in the plant, hired a food technologist doctor for an even more rigorous quality control and we have developed a new product, whose sales are expected to start in January 2021, in addition to refine, with the use of the old recipes revised in light of the needs of modern nutrition, our flagship products: the Rondinella and the cooked ham. We have also revised the corporate image, also thanks to the restyling of the website In the next few years, we would like to develop a turnover with the Rondanini brand aimed exclusively at High Quality, because we think this is what the consumer, whether Italian or foreign, asks of a historic brand like ours.

How do you plan to close 2020?

With so much hope! Joking aside, economically it can be defined as an interlocutory year. The pandemic has also hit our sector, causing orders for canteens and restaurants to collapse, partially offset by the increase in those of small distribution. The turnover was more or less at the same levels as in 2019, but it is not enough to reach a balanced budget. Given, however, that it is my first year of direct management of the company and that the minimum time horizon, to verify the goodness of the choices made, is three years, it does not scare me. A loss this year was expected and, in any case, it will not cause any problems of company stability because Rondanini has a respectable net worth and, above all, has a shareholder structure that believes in its potential.

Which products are you focusing on?

Our flagship products are cooked salami and hams, followed by mortadella, coppa and bresaola. In 2021 we will try to affirm Curcotto, a High Quality cooked ham prepared with the addition of turmeric and star anise, spices with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties, fundamental in this period in which we became aware of how much it is important to be well. We started from Feuerbach, from the principle 'we are what we eat' and from modern nutraceuticals to allow a traditional product, already recommended in any diet, to add something more to help us feel better and be organically stronger. In addition to doing well, Curcotto is really very pleasant on the palate and we would like to see it regularly on the table of many Italians, including those intolerant to gluten, because it is guaranteed by the Spiga Barrata brand.

On which markets and sales channels will you be present?

In the latter part of the year the new website was put online and by the end of January the Rondanini online shop should also see the light, where our loyal customers and, we hope, many other consumers who have taken 'habit of ordering the daily shopping from home, they will be able to find our cold cuts in slices or pre-sliced. Rondanini is currently present on the European market, especially in Germany, Belgium and France, with both traditional and organic products. We would like to open up beyond the ocean, recover the English market and maybe even make ourselves known in Asia. Some contact has been made, we'll see.

What marketing mix will you adopt to relaunch the company and how will you communicate?

We have relied on serious and experienced professionals, because we are perfectly aware that the market is not simple and that our company is like a precious stone in its raw state: only a good carver will be able to bring out its light. To us, that is to me and to my employees, the task of maintaining a high standard of quality, in the wake of the tradition of those who have made the Rondanini brand great and of those who have always believed in the potential of the company.

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EFA News - European Food Agency