Research, technology and unswerving commitment to quality: Gian Luca Rana’s recipe for innovation

Combining innovation and large-scale production with a quality without compromise: this is the challenge that Gian Luca Rana faces in ensuring that Pastificio Rana remains a benchmark for consumers in the countries in which it is present.

Examples include developing technologies that can produce tender fillings but with whole morsels of the ingredients used, or customizing production processes borrowed from the paper-making industry to roll out the dough, or adapting tobacco-industry processes to shape tortellini, to name just a few.

“Our arrival in the United States has been an extraordinary opportunity for growth and has sped up developments in the process of innovation”, declares Gian Luca Rana. “In order to satisfy and win over consumers with completely different habits, we have had to come up with a product that differs from the Italian one: in terms of form and size and of recipe, with fillings that can reveal the various textures of the ingredients used. This has been possible thanks to our many years of experience in the refrigerated pasta sector and our skill in developing custom-made innovative technological solutions.”

Thanks to this strategic approach, Pastificio Rana has undergone a period of robust upswing over the past 30 years, becoming one of the best-performing companies in the food sector. This is a result of the decisions made by Gian Luca Rana, who has always sensed and promoted the importance of developing long-term projects, rather than focusing solely on immediate returns.

Product concept: from initial idea to final product

Ideas for the creation of new processes, products and recipes are developed and nurtured in Pastificio Rana’s “Innovation House” – the R&D Center of Excellence devised and promoted by Gian Luca Rana.

“It is crucial to start with an idea and only then begin to investigate the technology to produce it”, Gian Luca Rana affirms, explaining the initial product-concept phase from which all Pastificio Rana’s products stem. These products are produced with meticulous care: from the choice of ingredients, to how they are combined and how they are served, in order to meet the demands of consumers’ lifestyles, eating habits and tastes in all the countries throughout the world in which Rana is present.

From plastic tubs to stand-up pouches:

Even the packaging of Pastificio Rana’s products has undergone significant change: in his approach to the United States market, which is highly complex in terms of dimensions and variety, Gian Luca Rana decided to forgo the traditional tub packaging and instead use stand-up food pouches. As a result, Rana products are completely different from the competition, recognizable at a glance, leading sales outlets to review their shelving displays.

All these choices obviously needed an extensive period of research and testing and a review of production processes, but the results have been more than satisfactory: since 1990 the San Giovanni Lupatoto-based company’s turnover has risen from 39 million Euros to more than 900 million in 2020.