Within two years, Mare Aperto has become widely recognized among consumers in Italy. “Innovation is the key to the success of our brand,” says Elisa Gambel, Trade Marketing Manager. “We have innovated our marketing and communication, our products and our packaging. In addition, we are part of a strong group, with a focus on quality and sustainability. On this basis, we plan to become even more successful.”
Mare Aperto Food s.r.l. was founded in 2015 to distribute the products of the Jealsa Rianxeira Group in Italy. The group was established in 1958 by Jesús Alonso Fernández. At the modern factory in Boiro, which also operates as the central headquarters, the production of canned tuna is centralized, in accordance with principal quality certificates and complying with the international sustainability standards.
Today, Jealsa is active in the areas of canned food, fishing, meal solutions, and energy and environment, as part of the International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF). In total, the group has more than 4,000 employees and annual revenues of 576 million EUR.
In 2017, Jealsa sold 800 million cans of tuna in all markets of all countries the group operates in. “We entered into a partnership with the Italian company Icat Food, which takes over the sales,” states Ms. Gambel. “This was a very good decision, as we have been able to double our revenues within a short time. In addition, we invested a lot into the marketing of our brand. Together with an agency, we have developed a campaign for a range of various TV commercials. Those commercials are kind of different as we worked together with comedians who parodied different chefs.”
Those light and amusing commercials were very well received by the audience and were even honoured for their innovative approach. Radio and print advertising were also used to make the brand even better known among consumers. The young and dynamic approach of the Mare Aperto brand is also reflected in the product portfolio. In addition to the classic canned tuna in olive oil or water as well as canned salmon, the company also offers a range of tuna salads. Those salads are available with quinoa and turmeric, beans and basil, or rice and octopus.
“Our tuna salads are different than the products offered by our competitors,” explains the Trade Marketing Manager. “We try to keep up with the food trends in Italy. That is why our new salads are very popular.”
Another unique selling proposition for Mare Aperto is the easy-peel lids, an easy and fast way to open the cans. Thanks to a new and innovative technology, they are much easier to open than the conventional aluminium lids and minimize the risk of minor injuries.
In addition to innovation, sustainability is also very important for the Jealsa Group and its brands. The tuna is caught and produced sustainably, for instance by using every part of the fish in the process. “Sustainability is another way to stand out from other competitors,” points out Ms. Gambel. “This is also important for consumers. We hope to grow further in the future. Many customers want to work with us because of our innovative strength. Our aim is to become the second player in Italy when it comes to canned tuna.”