Selena Pellegrini marketing and communication expert conquers London with her start-up WoopEvo. And she told to Olissea what it is.
Dear Selena, we have known each other from the previous life, since you also dealt with communication and marketing but not yet with oil. Personally, my new life with the “olive oil at the center” began in 2017 with the meeting of the olive growers of Pratomagno. When did your change with WoopEvo happened? Since 2010 I’ve been dealing with marketing of Made in Italy, when very little was said about export strategies and above all small Italian companies didn’t talk about them.
With the Expo of 2015, food, or better, agri-foodstuffs, entered everyone’s lips, and so for me too it became 70% of my business.
Since 2016 I have been focused on the English market, and I have brought over 40 Italian companies to London, creating ways and means to export effectively, to open sales points, to be known and appreciated.
In 2018 I became a member of an Italian start-up which I had followed the birth in 2015, Woop was the only crowdfunding platform dedicated to food, brilliant! But too forward-looking for the Italian market so in the meantime it has been internationalized in California. In my business in London I needed an innovative digital platform, and maybe Woop needed to be Europeanized, so with Woop’s CEO it was understood at first glance about common goals. He, Alessandro Corti, is a super management engineer, expert in innovation, blockchain, logistics in the world and he is visionary and passionate about good Italian things, having lived between Australia and the USA, he too is aware of how much Italian products are appreciated.
The extra virgin olive oil was already in our catalogue of excellence, and we were already following some Italian companies with our export consulting system. One day we were invited to a tasting event, then to a second, then our friend Pietro Barachini – artisanal nurseryman of olive trees and olive oil activist – fascinated us with his stories. So we decided to inform ourselves, to know more and more, and hungry as we are aware we noticed that the market was originally very fragmented and that although Italy is the first country in the world in terms of excellence in the extra virgin olive oil, and no one had structured a foreign project dedicated to olive oil.
Of course, the olive oil is sold almost everywhere, on the shelves of supermarkets there are some labels, in shops a couple of others, in restaurants instead always it is abandoned on the table and in even more sophisticated menus is often left out while you trace and tells the origin of even pistachio grains topping the salad. Even the best chefs know very little about it abroad and it is considered a food cost instead of a deal partner, so we did a market analysis and we were able to verify that some weaknesses, first of all the lack of culture and then the lack of a systematic and dedicated organization, are actually important opportunities.
We looked into each other’s eyes and decided that we would invest directly in excellent extra virgin olive oil.
That’s how WoopEvo was born, which is a very large project: a dedicated ltd; a b2b marketing system that includes a platform for the management of pre-order orders; two warehouses in London, one for logistics that serves all UK and one in central London point to point; a team of evo experts dedicated to the channel horeca in the UK – the list of oils that we customize for each restaurant, chef, Catering; an Academy b2b and b2c that provides training and education to our clients and prospects and teaches in an entertaining way to the final clients what and how to use the evo;
a team of experts in Italy that helps us to select the best evo productions for each region and cultivar; an agreement with an audio app (Loquis) for creating the channel Le Vie dell’Olio in Italian and English, the WoopEvoBar, which is the first format as a point of sale and eating dedicated to the evo with interactive systems of guidance to the choice that for two months sees us engaged at the Canopy Market in London with great satisfaction (we have already sold out and reassorted all the shelves!)
We can undoubtedly talk about love at first sight between Woop and Evo and we are very happy about this.
Wishes and objectives for 2020?
Consolidate the UK market where Brexit can be a real opportunity. To quickly grow the b2b. Open 2 WoopEvoBar in London. Explore other markets outside the EU where we have already started our first relationships and found much interest. Finding other investors who want to be our partners in this great deal dedicated to the excellent Italian evo in the world.
Would you like to give our readers a thought on what, from a communication point of view, you recommend to all our excellent producers to be successful?
I always say this when I am called upon to train Italian companies: you have to do Italian things! The Italian factor is a unique and rare thing, but today it is not enough to say that we are Italian to win in the world. We need to live up to the expectations that an Italian product represents: organization, innovation, and an important attention to every detail. Being excellent requires us to always be up to the challenges we face. Especially in terms of communication. Moreover, it is crucial to know that the country you are going to find culture, the style and communication paradigms between Germany and Japan are very different. Being “small” is not a mitigating factor. You can be small but you have to think big. And if you don’t have all the strength you need on your own, then you have to create a team, think together and break down costs and barriers. WoopEvo is also this, a common system for all the individual producers who as such are valued by us, told and then treated. Fortunately you are there, Olissea does a great job of communication!