Thinking smart foods

Simone Marchisio

Born in 1986, after his diploma at the State Farming School Virginio-Donadio in Cuneo, where he first met Giorgio, Simone graduated in Agricultural Science and Technology at Grugliasco-Torino University. Since 2010 he has been working as an agronomist for Coldiretti in Cuneo, supporting horticultural specialty farmers and berry growers in the “Provincia Granda”. After his degree, he met up with Giorgio again and together they decided to establish their company Kwattzero.

Giorgio Ducco

Born in 1967, after his degree in Agriculture and various professional experiences in the field, Giorgio became a teacher. He is now working for the State Farming School Virginio-Donadio in Cuneo and he is Simone’s silent partner in Kwattzero, offering his cooperation and support.

In 2003, Giorgio Ducco, a teacher at the State Farming School Virginio-Donadio in Cuneo met Simone Marchisio, a young student, for the first time.
10 years later they met up again and began developing the plans and the idea they had originally conceived in their old school days: innovating the farming process to save resources with a view to better products.
They decided to take it a step further, by innovating the process right to the end product. In their new, practical approach to production they conceived a working project to keep under control every single step in the process, from the field right to the policy concerning packaging and sales.
In 2013, soon after having established their company, they got their first award.
Kwattzero won the first prize in the first edition of Agristartup, the national competition organised by INTESA SANPAOLO, a leading banking group in Italy, for the most innovative ideas in the agricultural and food sector.
To embody this spirit at its best, three product lines were launched on the market: the stevia sweetened jams were followed by Stevyò, the first Italian stevia sweetened yoghurt, and by Animus, a breakthrough in cocktail bitters, meant to enhance the cocktail taste with the most natural ingredients.
The jams were the first business result of the successful idea on which they had established their start-up company: extra jams containing 80% fruit of outstanding quality, sweetened with stevia extracts and erythritol, for a “modern classic” product, so light to be safe for diabetics and for consumers suffering from food disorders: a delicious combination of innovation and distinctive taste for a treat full of health.
Stevyò was a new achievement in Kwattzero history, the Cuneo based start-up company aiming at producing food in line with today's requirements, such as environmental respect, human health, fairness in cooperation with quality producers and skilled craftsmen.
As it happens in the best of stories, Simone met Gianni Riberi, a farmer and an agronomist well known for his long term cooperation with Riberi e Martini (a farming company which, in addition to greenhouses, boasts stables and dairies in Cuneo) as well as with Claudio Cometto, a member of the milk producers’ association Terra Nuova. In the dairy itself, where every day milk is worked into fresh cheeses, they shared the idea of a new yoghurt with a distinctive character.
Their exchanges of opinions and repeated taste tests led to a stevia sweetened product with distinctive taste qualities, which won general acclaim when it was first exhibited at the National Chestnut Fair held in Cuneo in October 2014.
Stevyò is much more than a delicious, innovative yoghurt created by local producers focussed on consumers’ wellbeing: its outstanding taste qualities don’t require colourants, preservatives, flavourings, thickeners or added sugars. Stevyò is the first stevia sweetened yoghurt on the Italian market!
While developing new products, Giorgio and Simone came across some barmen specialized in making cocktails. This chance encounter sparked their determination to make another dream come true: by applying their innovative techniques to selected ingredients of the highest quality, they conceived their line of “bitters” made to enhance barmen’s creativity. This new product line was called “Animus” (the Latin word for “soul”) because every single tasted bitter contains only the “essence” of fruits and vegetables…In other words, their “soul”!
Kwattzero story has just begun. Future developments, time, perseverance and encounters still to come will make the path ahead of us all the more surprising and stimulating.