As the Export Director at Eurimac SA, one of the leading f&b companies in Greece, Mr. Sven van Asperen talks to Ambrosia Magazine about innovation, sustainability, and the way our rich culinary tradition transforms to experience, benefiting Greek f&b brands.

Interview: Charitomeni Vonta

What is Eurimac’s position in the Greek food industry and its category, and what does the company’s portfolio include?
Eurimac – Makvel holds a leading position in the Greek food industry, particularly in pasta production. Renowned for its extensive range and quality, Eurimac dominates the market in terms of volume and variety. The company’s portfolio is versatile, committed to catering diverse consumer preferences. It includes all kinds of classic pasta shapes, both in households and in professional cuisines. Lately Eurimac has expanded its range to include more specialized products like 5-cereal pasta, offering a nutritious alternative to traditional pasta. The company also produces specialty items such as farfalle and tricolore pasta, which are popular for their unique shapes and vibrant colors. Furthermore, Eurimac has responded to the growing health-conscious trend by introducing whole wheat pasta and a line of organic pasta. These additions underscore the company’s dedication to quality, innovation, and meet the evolving needs of consumers, reinforcing its leader status in the Greek pasta production industry.

Where does the company stand -in terms of volume- in exports?
At Eurimac – Makvel, our operations and vision are driven by three core principles: expansive international outreach, continuous innovation, and profound environmental respect. Our journey began in the 1960s and gained momentum through participation in major international exhibitions starting in the 1970s. Today, our products are distributed in almost 60 countries. Last year, our export achievements at Eurimac – Makvel were notable, with 55% of our total pasta sales coming from international markets, amounting to a significant volume of 40,000 tons of pasta. This substantial figure underscores the success of our global notable presence and the strong demand for our products worldwide.

Which do you consider to be the company’s greatest comparative advantage in relation to the competition outside Greece?
I would say our fully vertically integrated structure, affording us total control over every stage of the production process, from the sourcing of raw materials- high quality Greek durum wheat, to the final product. Such control ensures unparalleled consistency in quality and reliability, setting us apart in the global market. Additionally, our lean operational model are key assets that enables quick decision-making, ensure rapid and efficient communication both within the company and with our partners and customers. This agility in operations not only enhances our responsiveness to market changes but also allows us to maintain a competitive edge by adapting quickly to consumer needs and industry trends.

What are Eurimac’s best selling products in foreign markets?
Classic pasta shapes reflect a universal appeal for timeless favorites. Additionally, traditional Greek pasta varieties have gained significant popularity, showcasing our expertise in offering authentic, culturally rich culinary experiences. These traditional products embody the Greek culinary heritage, attracting a global audience keen on exploring diverse, authentic flavors.

What are the markets in which you are currently active abroad, and what are your target markets?
Eurimac – Makvel has established a significant global presence, currently exporting our entire range of pasta products to all continents. This expansive reach reflects our dedication to sharing the richness of Greek pasta tradition worldwide. Our focus now is to deepen our market presence in Asia. This region presents a dynamic and rapidly growing market, with an increasing appetite for international cuisines, including Mediterranean flavors. We see a tremendous opportunity in Asia to introduce our unique pasta varieties and to cater to the evolving taste preferences of consumers. By leveraging our commitment to quality and authenticity, we aim to strengthen our foothold in Asia, expanding our reach and establishing Eurimac – Makvel as a household name.

What are your plans, product-wise, in the next period?
Eurimac – Makvel is strategically planning to broaden its product portfolio to align with the changing preferences and dietary requirements of consumers. A key initiative in this direction is the introduction of pasta options with a low glycemic index, catering to health-conscious individuals looking for food choices that can help manage blood sugar levels. Alongside this, we are also enhancing our selection of whole grain pasta, providing options that are rich in fiber and nutrients. These initiatives respond to the increasing demand for healthier eating options, providing products that are not only delicious but also nutritionally beneficial. By expanding our range in these areas, we aim to meet the diverse needs of our customers, reinforcing our commitment to quality, health, and taste.

Environmental sustainability. It started as a trend but is now linked to the very real state of climate change. What are your moves in this direction?
Since 2013, long before environmental sustainability was an everyday matter, Eurimac – Makvel has been a pioneer in the food industry’s sustainable energy movement, utilizing rice husk for thermal energy production. This eco-friendly approach reflects our deep commitment to environmental stewardship. We proactively shifted from traditional energy sources (natural gas) to greener alternatives (biomass), well ahead of global sustainability trends. This move not only shielded us from the unpredictability of fuel costs but also greatly reduced our reliance on fossil fuels. In recognition of these continuous efforts, we are thrilled that today Eurimac – Makvel is certified as a 100% carbon neutral organization. This certification is more than just a milestone, it’s a testament to our steadfast commitment to environmental responsibility, driving sustainable development in the food industry and respecting society.

Eurimac Trivia

  • MAKVEL pasta is the company’s oldest brand, produced non-stop since 1939.
  • The company also produces the following brands: La Mediterranea, Famiglia, La Grande Pasta & Terra Di Grano, and specializes in the production of private label pasta.
  • The company has an integrated quality assurance laboratory and holds a series of certifications, including Kosher and Halal.