Devodier: Innovation safeguards a unique traditional taste
Italy’s 8,000 municipalities are the custodians of gastronomic traditions and production methods that are unique. Among these, some stand out for their quality: like Parma, whose food companies are renowned for their excellence. Businesses have become historical brands, like Devodier: “Our roots go back to 1700. Our mantra has always been the same: quality. For example, the wood of our “scalere”, where our hams are hung, has been the same for 60 years,” says Michele Devodier, heir and helmsman of the cured meats company. “We cure from 50,000 to 100,000 prosciutto, culatello and fiocco hams on our premises. Devodier has always had a strong bond with the city of Parma. We are one of the companies that set up the Prosciutto di Parma Consortium in 1962. For the good and bad times. Like a few months ago, when the province of Reggio Emilia felt the effects of the lockdown.
“Things were difficult at the start: we didn’t know how the world would have changed. Business activity was impacted: there were problems with logistics, demand from restaurants, cafés, hotels was practically at a standstill, and exports were down. There were no in-person contacts: no meetings with customers, or trade fairs. Something we had never seen before. It was important to react, quickly, and do it right. One of the best things was seeing how all our team put in every effort and enthusiasm from day one. All of them sticking together to make sure that food supplies would continue. Resilience comes from willpower that pushes you into adopting all-new solutions".
Devodier explained how they switched to digital technology, "We downloaded the Google for Small Business manual and applied the suggestions. Because of the Ads campaign, our customers can now find us easily. And since trade fairs were cancelled, we have now started holding business meetings on Meet. It worked so we did more by developing promo videos of the new products that we launched on our YouTube campaigns. This is how the lockdown became an opportunity to grow. We realized that customers get more information online, and by using Google Trends and Market Finder suggestions we updated our marketing strategy after the pandemic and created new growth opportunities”.
Devodier has always aimed at value for the consumer. “In a way, in Parma, it’s as if time has stood still. Some trades, traditions and tastes haven’t changed. Digital technology doesn’t change this cultural prosperity: when it is well applied, it safeguards and enhances it. We have launched new product lines: no antibiotics and organic with a lot of interest. In addition to gourmet products, we also guarantee sustainability, an environmental focus and high quality".
Devodier explains how they are continuing to grow, "We're growing by adapting to the future, without altering our original roots. There are very strong personal and professional ties: not just with my family, but with all our employees. Digital development has not changed our company values: it’s just the opposite, it has become a set of tools at our service".