In 2011, there was a lot on the agenda at Hasa GmbH in Burg. The new “Italissimo-Premium” product range, comprising five varieties – “Chicken Döner,” “Thai Sweet Chicken,” “Antipasti,” “Salame Piccante” (also known as “Diavolo”) and “Rucola” – was a huge success for the company’s pizza makers. Leading the way were “Chicken Döner” and “Rucola Balsamico.” Italissimo is the private label of the company, which has specialized in the production of pizzas for store brands. Andreas Czayka describes the corporate strategy as follows: “We present new creations under our private label, which can be used as a platform and testing area with respect to the consumer and then ultimately presented as private labels for retail.” Czayka not only attributes the company’s success to the quality of its products, but also to the current change of thinking in the area of store brands.
“It is no longer the case that everyone looks spellbound at Aldi Süd to find out what they’re doing,” he remarks. “Today, retail is also focusing on product differentiation in the area of private labels in order to break free from uniformity and interchangeability, but also to address more immediately the emotions of the consumer.” With Italissimo Premium-Range pizza, the strategy of opening up a higher-end segment to store brands has been successful. Czayka cites the “Salame Piccante” as an obvious case in point: With its sweet-and-sour piquanté peppers and Italian Grana Padano, the product has brought something new to the popular salami-pizza segment and clearly expanded the variety.
With its popular range of products in 2011, Hasa took note of existing trends. Hasa describes “Chicken Döner” as a “cross-over” product, which combines what are undoubtedly the two most loved international foods in Germany: authentic Italian stone-oven pizza and oriental spiced chicken döner (kebab). With “Thai Sweet Chicken,” a blend of chicken and extra-sweet pineapple, Hasa responds to the current popularity of Thai cuisine. And with Hasa’s three Italian varieties, the company addresses Germany’s perennial love affair with Italian cuisine. The flavor “Antipasti,” featuring grilled vegetables, black olives, and herb butter, evokes memories of La dolce Vita, whereas “Rucola” brings together the Italian aromas of balsamic, tomatoes, and rocket salad.
Czayka reports that Hasa has big plans in store for 2012. “We invested €9 million in our new high-bay warehouse; a second production line is in the works that will cost €4 million. These improvements will allow 100 million frozen pizzas to be produced and shipped from the company in the Jerichower Land.