Summer Fancy Food Show

Cooking up diverse flavors and textures in the pasta category

By Deniz Ataman

- Last updated on GMT

Source: D. Ataman
Source: D. Ataman

Related tags Pasta Durum wheat

Pasta is evolving to fit consumer preferences for convenient and accessible cooking at home, while creating improved taste, texture and packaging, according to category players showcasing at the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York City last month.

As an affordable and easy-to-cook food, pasta is one of the most widely consumed products globally. According to data​ from Fortune Business Insights, the global pasta market is estimated to grow from $71.42 billion in 2024 to $100.24 billion in 2032 with a CAGR of 5.47% during the forecast period.

Since the pandemic, consumers continue to seek convenient and affordable pantry staples, giving brands an opportunity to align with increased home cooking.

Sfoglini intends to revive the pasta category through a clean label, improved texture

New York-based Sfoglini began in 2012 after founder Scott Ketchum said he hoped to “bring some fun and excitement back into the pasta section,” which lacked variety on retail shelves, he told FoodNavigator-USA during the show.

The company currently is available in retail chains nationwide, including Whole Foods Market, Fresh Market, Sprouts, and regional grocery store chains. Ketchum added that the brand is “starting to break out of the natural organic grocery stores … into more conventional grocery.”

Sfoglini’s premium pasta highlights shapes, including quattrotini, cascatelli, vesuvio, among others and has a coarser texture that create “not just a dinner but an experience,” he said.

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Sfoglini’s premium pasta highlights shapes, including quattrotini, cascatelli, vesuvio, among others and have a coarser texture that create “not just a dinner but an experience,” Ketchum said. Source: D. Ataman

Ketchum added, “We thought there was a lot of potential to really bring some of the unique shapes back that had disappeared over the years because of the difficulty to produce or maybe at certain times there was not an audience for them, and you find a lot of unique shapes that serve different purposes.”

The company sources organic semolina and specialty grains, like hard red wheat, emmer and einkorn from North American farms and mills. The pasta is made and packaged in a 40,000 square foot facility in the Hudson Valley.

Initially, the brand sourced its wheat from the U.S. and Canada, emphasizing a North American provenance. Interestingly, after surveying their audience, it discovered that provenance mattered less than exceptional flavor. This shift led it to embrace Italian durum wheat, which not only delivers exceptional quality but also offers a delightful connection to Italy, a fact appreciated by its customers, he said.

Ketchum pointed out that the Italian durum wheat contains “a little bit higher protein,” which has been a “nice plus,” in addition to a clean label which pasta consumers want.

Good Hair Day highlights texture, color and shape through creative packaging

Good Hair Day’s recognizable feature lies in its creative packaging, which features images of women (and soon men) with clear plastic cut outs where hair should be. The varied pasta shapes and colors are displayed as “hair,” including cavatappi, tagliatelle al tartufo, fettuccine basil and lemon, fettucine al vino, treccia al pepperoncino and cacao waves, among others.

“[Pasta] is one of everybody’s favorite foods … what we are trying to do is make sure that we can apply to everybody’s interest,” Billy Stroumbaras, COO of Greenomic Delikatessen, producer of Good Hair Day Pasta.

Sourced from Italy, Good Hair Day features a clean label with natural colors from sun dried tomatoes, spinach, red chard and turmeric, among others, for a variety of pasta shapes.

“We try to be as natural and as clean as possible, and we needed to make the pasta taste as good as it looks,” Stroumbaras said.

Each pasta shape goes through a bronzing or slow-drying process that creates a rougher texture on the noodle, allowing for sauce to adhere to it, “as opposed to falling right off,” he said.

Currently, Good Hair Day is selling through its website agronomic.us and distributing to both B2B and B2C. The brand intends to expand “in more larger scale, high-end specialty shops”, Stroumbaras said.

                                                                                                                                          

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