Q: With what idea did you approach the Neapolitan Pizza world and the Association?
Already in the 1980s, Silvio Valoriani was the first oven manufacturer to cooperate with Antonio Pace, when the actual AVPN did not exist. We even made the first Pizza Fest together in Galleria Umberto I with two wood-fired ovens. We also had the honor of being the only company invited and present during the creation of Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana in Maschio Angioino. Since then, the cooperation never stopped, a certainly meaningful moment for us was in 2015 with the approval of our gas oven as the first opening of the Association towards this type of power supply.
Q: How do you see the future of Neapolitan Pizza and how do you intend to approach it with your company?
In the last decades and especially in recent years, the notoriety and awareness of consumers towards Neapolitan Pizza has grown a lot, mostly also thanks to the work of the Association. Insofar as we can, we think we have made a partial contribution in spreading a common message also through fairs and events around the world. The approach we have been having in recent years is trying to create “ad hoc” versions of each of our products, in particular for Neapolitan Pizza we have, for example, developed a type of refractory soil of our own production specifically for this type of cooking.
Q: What is your most successful product in the Pizza world and, in your opinion, why?
The most sought-after product by customers in the pizza world is the oven with the classic dome shape that represents tradition by definition and ever-more also a furnishing accessory. This remains beyond the internal characteristics of the oven, whether it is for classic pizza or for Neapolitan pizza. The search for the uniqueness of the oven, with ad-hoc coatings made for the customer is the fastest growing trend. In addition, although wood often remains the main choice, the demand for gas-fired ovens is growing more and more, also because of the greater ease of installation, especially abroad due to chimney permits and difficult availability of quality wood.
Q: In how many countries are your products distributed and which are the new markets you are approaching?
To the present day, we can consider ourselves satisfied enough to say that it is easier to name the countries where our ovens are not present. Our main markets still remain the more "classic" ones such as the United States, various European countries and Australia, followed by already partially structured markets such as the whole Middle East. There are, of course, also emerging markets that are recently coming to life, such as those of South East Asia, South America and some African countries.
D: What advice would you like to give to pizzerias to face such a particular moment like this?
One of the most important characteristics of the moment, for any business, is the ability to renew itself. Especially in such a particular and difficult moment like the one we are experiencing, we believe that knowing how to quickly adapt to new realities is fundamental for pizzerias. We have seen places that immediately activated or strengthened the home delivery service since March and improved their presence and communication online and on social media, everything without ever decreasing the attention to quality that distinguishes them. It is certainly not easy in times of such great challenges, but we believe that positivity plays a fundamental role.