Jeannette Adelman Interview
(Alessi Italian Foods)

While Alessi Italian foods started in Tampa, Florida they are now known the world over. With six pasta sauces on the market, Alessi Italian foods is a force to be reckoned with! We spoke with Alessi spokeswoman Jeannette Adelman.

Q - Jeannette, what is your position with the company?
A - I worked at the agency for Alessi. I don’t work direct for Alessi. We're the agency that represents Alessi.

Q - The person that started this company or their relatives, are they still around?
A - Yes. Tony and Fred Alessi are the sons Antonio Alessi who’s started the company back in 1947.

Q - A jar of Alessi pasta sauce sells for how much?
A - Here in Tampa it sells for $4.99 at Publix.

Q - How popular is the Alessi brand in Tampa?
A - It’s something that’s one of our newer products. It’s only been in our market for a couple of years now. So, it’s growing in popularity. It’s really getting the word out that we have pasta sauce now.

Q - How much competition do you have?
A - Were not in the same competitive set as Prego and Ragu. That’s a different price set and a different market. Were a premium pasta sauce so you’re competing against Mario Batali’s sauce, Rao’s, Mid’s, and Moms. We are on the lower end for premium pasta sauce. When you’re in the competitive set, you have to look at the mass market, mid-market and premium because if it’s pasta sauce, were playing in all those fields.

Q - How are you bringing attention to Alessis pasta sauce?
A - That’s something were currently working on now. We did some advertising for it last year, digital and some TV and actually went out to Tuscany to shoot the commercial. It’s all about having authentic ingredients and being as all natural as possible. So, it’s really just getting the word out by doing some trade advertising so that buyers know about it and putting it in the market and it’s also doing some traditional advertising, TV some online banner ads. Last year we did some couponing. But when you’re looking at premium pasta sauce, and who the target audience is for that, it’s not the couponing customer. A couponing customer is not buying a $4.99 jar of pasta sauce. So, it’s making sure that are doing the right types of media and getting the word out and P. R. and really just getting the Alessi brand out because if you could get the Alessi brand name out then that will also affect the pasta sauce as well.

Q - Is it difficult to get the Alessi pasta sauce on the shelves of supermarkets?
A - It’s something that you have to have a relationship with those buyers and let them see and know what you’re doing over all to move the product. We show our marketing plans and how were going to get the word out and what we’re doing for advertising so they know were putting support behind the product that they’re putting on their shelves. That’s something that’s always very important to them as well.

Q - Can you tell me some countries that are selling the Alessi brand?
A - Definitely it’s in South America, Mexico it’s very big and even globally in Europe as well.

Q - How do you compete in supermarkets that are selling their own jars of pasta sauce for.99¢ a jar?
A - You can’t compete against something like that. It’s just impossible because you can’t bring down the price of your product because you’re devaluing what you’re all about. Once people taste our sauce they know what it tastes like and that is what gets them hooked. It’s all about the ingredients. The premium pasta buyers are not going to buy the .99¢ a jar unless it’s something they’ve tried before and they know. It’s the same thing as buy one get one. Publix is pretty big here in the South East. They love some sauces that can buy one get one. What can we do against that? There’s nothing we can do unless we run a buy one get one or we run a special like that. Then were discounting our product and it goes against what the product is. So, to compete against the jar that’s .99¢, you can’t compete against something like that. It’s just letting your customers know what you’re putting in the sauce is all natural, is something that is authentic, is something that not going to change. It’s something that you can rely on that's quality there.

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