Author – Aya Tohme
In October, we went to Verona to visit Giovanni Rana headquarters, a world market leader in fresh pasta. This was our first company experience as students of the IFBM programme at ESCP Business School and it was memorable.
At dawn, we headed for San Giovanni Lupatoto, where the Pastificio Giovanni Rana’s fresh pasta was first created in 1962.
Founded in the 1960s, Pastificio Giovanni Rana, a family-owned food manufacturing company, is considered one of the leaders in the industrial fresh pasta market. With a wide range of traditional Italian products going from fresh filled pasta to gnocchi, egg pasta, spaghetti, sauces or even ready to eat meals, the company is present in more than 60 countries, with an international brand recognition that guarantees good taste and quality.
The Rana family welcomed us in the house of Giovanni, the founder of the company. We were immediately impressed by the contrast between the simple beauty of the family house, similar to a Swiss wooden chalet, and the vastness of the surrounding space, which is a 30,000 square meter factory with large white walls. Family traditions and modernity are perfectly combined at Giovanni Rana’s.
After a warm welcome, we were invited to visit the production plant. Family members and employees were our guides. We were able to go behind the scenes of Giovanni Rana’s pasta factory. It is a sophisticated and fully automated manufacturing process, which nevertheless requires human intervention to ensure quality control at every stage of production.
The obsession for quality and innovation is the company’s driver. Raw materials are carefully selected, giving preference to fresh and natural products, without the addition of preservatives, artificial colouring or flavours. They also use paper packaging and go the extra mile to minimise food waste within the warehouse. In addition, to adapt the recipes to the different markets in which it operates, the company systematically carries out a precise study of its consumers’ preferences before launching its range of products.
The family business has always been at the forefront of technology. It has developed its own cutting-edge machines capable of making 0.2-millimeter thin pasta in a record cooking time of 20 seconds. To achieve this, it partnered with a cigarette-paper maker and a Ferrari Formula 1 factory to study the injection system and adapt it to filling ravioli and tortellini.
To provide us with a holistic, engaging, and multi-sensory experience, Rana’s company organized several tastings of their raw products, including different varieties of cheese. They also showed us the “innovation centre“, where everything is created, and shared with us the history of the company, from the very beginning to today, and told us quite e few anecdotes. All this allowed us to understand the roots, the passion, the heritage and the values of the family business, its evolution through the generations and the wheels of its success!
Finally, we were lucky enough to meet the very famous Mr. Giovanni Rana himself! Then we went for lunch in one of the company’s restaurants to taste the different dishes offered.It was truly amazing to see how efficiently and precisely this inspiring family business produces pasta. This unique experience has taught me that the constant quest for innovation and quality is what will always keep them one step ahead!