Italian food brand Seggiano has said it will maintain its focus on independent retailers in the UK – as well as its rigorous approach to NPD – under the stewardship of its new owners Certified Origins.
In October, co-founders David Harrison and Peri Eagleton sold their business to the company, which specialises in olive oil and tomato products, with both parties adamant that no changes will be made to either Seggiano’s target customer base or its sourcing arrangements.
The Certified Origins Group, which is headquartered in Tuscany, is now the owner of the brand – and its 200 products sourced from some 40 different suppliers across Italy.
David Harrison told FFD: “We are very happy to have sold it back to Italy. In many ways, we’ve done something that the Italians couldn’t do. You talk about campanilismo, regionalism. Italians are so regional, we all know that. What I’ve realised, over time, is that it actually took passionate outsiders to pull together the best of Italy.”
Gerard Jara, the president of Certified Origins Group, said that the most important thing for the UK trade to know was that the management team at Seggiano would remain the same – apart from the gradual departure of Harrison and Eagleton. He added there was potential for the brand to continuing growing in the UK independent market but that he had no plans to deviate from the current plan.
“The opportunity for Seggiano comes from different markets,” he told FFD. “Obviously there’s space in the UK because of the good work that has been done; new accounts keep coming in and they become part of the family.
“From a corporate point of view, we’re going to be focusing on more of a planned growth in the US and in international markets. That shows our level of satisfaction in the UK business today, so we don’t have the pressure or the need to double or triple sales in the UK.”
Independent retail customers in the UK can now look forward to a steady stream of new launches over the coming months.
“I think we’ve launched three new products since Gerard bought the business,” said Harrison, citing the new chocolate grissini, chocolate almond maraschino and three new soups.
Jara added: “David and Peri have handed me a list of items that is four pages long. There’s so much in the pipeline.”
This article first appeared in the December 2023 edition of Fine Food Digest.