"Nectariss": truffle flavour from real truffles
Truffles are considered a gourmet food worldwide, very much appreciated by foodies and chefs. Apart from the fresh ones, most people love also other truffle flavoured products, such as oils and spreads. Consumers usually do not know the origin of the "truffle" flavour and they purchase these products without knowing in detail their characteristics, in terms of ingredients and origin. Furthermore, most consumers ignore that truffles can be found in most Mediterranean countries and not just in the few iconic places that everyone knows.
Nectariss aims to create the ultimate truffle flavour from real truffles, addressing three main problems of truffle products:
- the lack of authenticity of existing truffle aromas that are mainly prepared either synthetically or from seafood and vegetables;
- the poor diversity of existing commercial truffle flavours (only few compared to hundreds of truffle sorts);
- the lack of geographical traceability in truffle products and the consequent consumers' misconceptions that truffles exclusively come from few regions (i.e. Alba, Périgord), when they are really valuable resources of most Mediterranean countries.
A patent-backed technology enables Nectariss to produce authentic and natural truffle flavours of any truffle sort all year round. Since Nectariss technology relies on real truffles as raw material, geographical traceability, as well as variations in flavours, can be communicated to the end-consumers through infographics, differentiating Nectariss products from the rest of truffle-flavoured food products. As a result, the range of truffle products can be enlarged to the extent of the wide variety of the origin of raw material, valuing new species and geographical peculiarity.
The project needs a strong investment in marketing and communication, in order to attract key stakeholders and launch successfully the product in the market. The project relies on strong scientific background research and studies, that constitute the backbone of the new technology. The development of a proper network among producers, traders and retailers appears fundamental to access to the market successfully. The use of modern techniques (e.g. QR code) to communicate the characteristics of the product, receipts and additional information directly accessible by the consumer, is fundamental to add value to the product.
Impacts and weaknesses
Nectariss produces a completely new product that can be a real gamechanger in the current truffle flavour product sector. Nowadays, truffle consumers are an elite of foodies whose willingness to pay is generally high. The guaranteed traceability and authenticity of products should be communicated to the consumers, through innovative and effective marketing techniques. The implementation of these techniques is definitely one of the biggest challenges that Nectariss is currently facing.
Nectariss has a patented technology and a variety of supporters, including private companies and research facilities. The truffle network is aware of its presence and in the next years, Nectariss will work in order to fine-tune its product range and reinforce partnerships with companies of the truffle sector. As said, the development of a good marketing and communication strategy should be another of the priority for the next future.