Gastraval, which is based in the Valencian town of Catarroja and whose raison d'être is paella, specializes in this leading national dish and its traditional preparation and is looking to take it beyond Spain's borders, in particular to the European Union, the US and Japan, by selling online and opening paellerías (places specializing in paella). The company is also interested in opening restaurants in Spain, and views Spanish gastronomy as one of the best bets for international success.
Ricardo Migueláñez. Agricultural Engineer. @rmiguelanez
What is Gastraval and how does it contribute to raising awareness about the Mediterranean diet?
At Gastraval, we make paellas which are traditional in terms of ingredients and the preparation method.We're a Valencian company, based in Catarroja, and we are meticulous with every detail about ingredients and preparation methods, the goal being to obtain a very high quality product.
Gastraval also sells a kit which allows customers to prepare paella anywhere. What are the kit's advantages?
The advantage is having everything you need in just one box. The customer need only buy the kit, and he can make a paella from start to finish. It includes not only the ingredients needed to make it, but also the utensils to eat it. It also contains cooking materials which allow users to prepare the rice with wood from orange trees. The product is being very well received, both in Spain and abroad.
What are Gastraval's goals in terms of internationalization?
Spanish cooking, and Mediterranean cuisine in particular, are very popular around the world, and paella, which is Spain's most emblematic dish in terms of traditional gastronomy, is very much in demand in several countries.
What are your priority markets?
Our main focus is the European Union, Japan and the United States.
What is the company doing to expand its reach in other countries?
We have an export department which participates in trade fairs and missions, with the help of organizations like ICEX (Spain Trade and Investment). We also attend Spanish gastronomy events around the world.
How does Gastraval stand out with respect to competition outside Spain?
Three years ago, our plant obtained IFS and BRC certification,which confirms that we conform to global quality standards.Moreover, foreign customers looking for authentic products view our company very favorably, since we're from Valencia and our goal is to preserve traditional preparation methods. Our R&D department is headed by Juan Carlos Galbis (expert ricemaker), who has notable experience and a Guinness World Record for the world's largest paella, which our international customers also value highly.
With regard to e-commerce, how would you describe internet sales of your products?
We sell our products on our website and also on eBay and Amazon. We primarily sell items which don't require refrigeration. Internet offers the possibility of reaching a large number of customers, 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. This is a very important channel, although it has the disadvantage that some people don't like to make online purchases. In short, the internet is just another area where you must have a presence.
Is Gastraval considering opening stores to raise awareness about its product and enhance customer loyalty?
We are planning to open restaurants (paellerías) where we'll serve our products, both at national and international level. This is a project we're developing for both Spain and other countries.