Giuliano Mai, MD of Hertforshire-based Martorana Snacks told BakeryandSnacks at the recent trade fair ife 2017 (held in London last week), the snack market has grown exponentially in the past decade, which has given rise to premium snacks.
He noted that Pastinos was playing in the same category as air popped chips and popcorn.
Innovation is the key driver behind the Pastinos brand that was developed in 2014 by two Italians, entrepreneur Giuseppe and chef Roberto.
The unique crunchy pasta snack is available in four traditional Italian flavors – including Chianti & Olive, Arrabiata Chilli & Tomato, Classic Pesto, and Tomato & Sweet Basil.
Available in 150 g sharing bags or individual 40 g bags, Pastinos is currently sold in nine countries in Europe, including the UK in major retailers and gourmet shops.
“We are going to continue to push international expansion, and will be introducing the to the US market in the next six months,” said Mai.
Healthy alternatives boost growth
Pasta is enjoyed globally, but the $10bn sector is facing increasing challenges as consumers pay closer attention to their diets.
Pasta is generally high in sodium and gluten, so often not perceived as a healthy option.
However, to entice customers, manufacturers are experimenting with different ingredients like chickpea, quinoa and rice flour; natural additives like spinach, carrot or beet juices for enhanced flavor and color; adding more fiber; decreasing carbohydrates and going gluten-free, says Transparency Market Research.
In its report that looks at the pasta market to 2024, the market researcher forecasts that this recent trend to manufacture healthier varieties of pasta is expected to boost growth substantially in the coming years.
Mai believes Pastinos ticks all the boxes.
“I like to think that we’re within that space where all the trends are happening,” he said.
According to the company, Pastinos are made from 100% real durum wheat pasta, do not contain artificial colors or flavors, has no MSG and are not cooked in hydrogenated fats.
“In fact, although fried, it is lower in fats than a typical potato crisp,” Mai claimed.
“Consumers still want indulgence though, even while they are keeping an eye on health.”