Could you give us an overview of what Tecfrigo does? What range of products do you manufacture?
Tecfrigo is an Italian family-run company that, since 1980, has been producing equipment for refrigerated storage and display, dedicated in particular to pastry shops, ice-cream parlours, restaurants, professional kitchens, wine storage, delicatessens, supermarkets and, in general, to the whole world of hospitality. We are present in over 90 countries and this means for us to have a range that can satisfy completely different markets.
What significant developments have you recently seen in the catering sector, and how have you dealt with them?
There have been important changes, especially in the world of catering with the increase of a certain type of fast food, but this has not affected the quality of services. We have noticed an increase in sales of drop-in refrigerated islands for gastronomy; meaning that restaurant customers are serving themselves, without giving up the quality of food. However, classic catering and confectionery (which is our core business) are still linked to very traditional values, even if innovations are mainly in the design of the premises and appliances.
What upcoming trends do you predict that industry professionals should know about?
Although most of the products remain traditional, we have seen an increasing demand for smart devices (wi-fi connections and data immediately usable), and quality design is increasingly sought after. We are part of those Made-In-Italy companies that stand out both for the aesthetics and functionality of their products, and for the high level of service we provide to our customers, creating a very direct and continuous relationship. Trust in the brand – both on the manufacturer / distributor and end-user side– is a topic on which to be very careful in such a volatile market, especially for younger consumers, with whom it’s difficult to create trust with but, once you have succeeded, are those most attached to individual brands.
How does Tecfrigo, as a manufacturer, ensure that it stands out and remains competitive in the marketplace?
Our strengths as a brand are well known among professionals, and we always try to keep our design up-to-date, with the latest technology and especially in providing maximum support and proximity to our sales network, we try to have partners and not just customers.
Of all the markets you operate in worldwide, how important of a market is the UK to you? Does it come with its own unique opportunities or challenges?
The United Kingdom, like other European countries, is our main and most important market. Several models are appreciated in this market, in particular some models of vertical and horizontal display cabinets for pastry. The challenge we want to face in the UK is to assert ourselves even more, despite the uncertainties that exist in this period over Brexit, but the reaction that we see from those we speak with is very positive towards us.
How do you, as a manufacturer, balance the cost and practicality of your builds with aesthetic appeal?
In recent years, we have started a total overhaul of our designs and industrial processes, which means: starting with an idea from the market or that comes to us from our loyal partners, thinking of the whole industrial part (components, production processes), and combining them with a design that mixes both professional practicality and decorative quality.
Given the demand from consumers, clients and the European Parliament for more sustainable, environmentally friendly approaches to catering and the culinary arts, how is Tecfrigo adapting to these expectations?
By the end of 2018, we had already begun to use the new eco-sustainable gases (R290 and similar ones) and components – in particular electronic ones – for optimal consumption management. For example, we have several models with integrated inverters, which means 40% lower annual consumption compared to previous models without these innovations. It was not easy to switch from old to new gases, and the decision was met with some hesitancy from a section of the market, but we immediately accepted the challenge and in fact today we are at almost 90% production with new gas and innovative technologies. The protection of the environment is very important to us, in fact even in the company the level of recovery and recycling is constantly improving.
What products and innovations are you most looking forward to sharing with guests at this year’s Expo?
At Bellavita, we will be bringing one of our top-of-the-range showcases that has both a very elegant design – which our customers like so much (and we are happy with the sales results) – and the latest technological innovations: ecological gases, the latest generation electronic control units (touch), wi-fi connection, low consumption and versatility. In addition, we will have our bestselling wine fridges at various stands at Bellavita, playing a key role in the event; in fact, sales of our products dedicated to wine are consistently growing all over the world.
What is it that Bellavita Expo offers most to Tecfrigo, as a technical sponsor? Why did you want to be involved this year?
As we said before, it's really an honour for us to be here at Bellavita, for many reasons. We like to be present at an event that promotes Italian brands around the world; Bellavita's signature style, not only in London but in other fairs such as Amsterdam, is unmistakable and visitors already know that they will find on offer products of the highest quality. It’s also important to make our brand even more known, in an increasingly competitive market; being here in London seems to us to be one of the best ways to express who we are, in an environment emphasising quality, Made-In-Italy style, as it rightly deserves.
What advice would you most like to offer to guests in attendance at Bellavita Expo this year?
In the meantime, to enjoy the event, to discover Italian products, and get a feel for the functionality and practicality of our products. We will be there to let you get to know us better and to provide all the information to the operators present on how to get the best performance, and find the right solutions for everyone. We are sure that this event will be another great success for both Bellavita and Tecfrigo, and we hope that our collaboration will continue for a long time.