ANAHEIM, CALIF. — At the Madison, Wis.-based International Dairy Deli Bakery Association (IDDBA)’s 2023 show June 4-6, Elizabeth, N.J.-based Atalanta Corporation showcased its array of brands and shared the stories behind them at its booth. One of the company’s brands is Il Villaggio, which is known for its fresh mozzarella. Atalanta acquired Il Villaggio in 2017, said Marissa DeMaio, vice president of marketing and sales for Atalanta.
According to DeMaio, Il Villaggio was once a $25 million brand, but sales had been drastically declining before the acquisition. Atalanta has been working to revive the brand with a refresh while tying it back to Il Villaggio’s story about an Italian-American family and its message, “It takes a village.”
DeMaio said that social media influencers have been a crucial part of reviving the Il Villaggio brand. The influencers Atalanta has worked with have pools of followers in different regions and have unique ways of capturing their audiences’ attention and sharing the Il Villaggio story in their own voices.
DeMaio gave an example of an influencer’s Instagram video showing how to make homemade cacio e pepe with one of Il Villaggio’s cheeses that went viral with 12.8 million views.
Atalanta’s largest Il Villaggio distribution is at supermarkets in the Southeast area such as Publix, DeMaio said. The brand is looking to expand into the Northeast at the backend of 2023.
Il Villaggio’s mozzarella products include the following:
- Ovaline: egg-sized fresh mozzarella low in salt with a full fresh milk taste; ideal for cooking in pasta and main dishes
- Bocconcino: bite-sized mozzarella packaged in water to stay soft; ideal for salads and cheese boards
- Ciliegine: cherry-sized fresh mozzarella with a creamy, oozing core that holds together; ideal for appetizers and salads
- Braided Mozzarella: mozzarella crafted into a handmade braid available plain or marinated in basil-infused olive oil parsley, red pepper flakes and garlic; ideal for both eating fresh and cooking
- Armenian String Cheese: vacuum-packed handmade string of cheese with black nigella seeds; ideal for snacking
- Smoked Mozzarella Ball: vacuum-packed hickory-smoked mozzarella; ideal for pizza
- Cheese Roll with Prosciutto Ham: mozzarella wrapped in a thin slice of prosciutto; ideal for charcuterie boards
This article is an excerpt from the July 2023 issue of Supermarket Perimeter. You can read the full Mozzarella feature and more in the digital edition here.