Since 1945, Foppapedretti has been building ideas with its products, with precise attention to natural materials and is ecologically responsible. It is a renowned Italian brand which started its business journey with a line of wooden products; however, it now has a distinct line of technological products too. Michella Zanelli, Export Sales Manager at Foppapedretti chalks out the history of the company, its market presence and their intent of coming to the Indian market in an exclusive interaction with Mommy & Baby Times (MBT).
February 05, 2020
Headquartered at Grumello del Monte, Italy, Foppapedretti is a 70 year old company known for its wooden furniture line. What was started by Ezio Foppa Pedretti as a natural consequence of his passion of creating toys out of wood from the offcuts of his Uncle Pierino’s carpentry workshop, is now an award winning brand known for wooden as well as a range of innovative, technology-based products. A great attention to detail and imagination defined the initial range of wooden toys the company used to manufacture. With the sea change that was brought by the emergence of plastic, the forward-thinking of the founder Ezio led to the necessary diversification of the range.
Italian roots and history of Foppapedretti
Chronicling the history of the brand, Michela Zanelli says “the founder of our company Ezio Foppa Pedretti, with the help of his siblings- Tito and Letizia, started the “Foppa Pedretti brothers’ toy factory” back in 1946. Initially, the company began to produce highchairs, followed by cots and school desks and then, it also started to manufacture changing tables and a range of nursery furniture. We were among the first to make wooden highchairs and today we are an important benchmark for cots, nursery furniture and changing tables.”
Although wood continues to be the predominant material in the Foppapedretti production; however, since 2004 the company has sailed on a new journey with a new distinctive ‘Technology line’ having a range of products constituting metal. It has a collection of strollers, car seats and so on. About the diversification, Zanelli states “the idea behind our products is that they must be functional, practical and safe, and also innovative. In 2011, Foppapedretti came up with the Myo Tronic stroller that has an electric motor. It has won the prestigious international Red Dot Design Award for the great design and functional features the stroller brings.”
Although wood continues to be the predominant material in the Foppapedretti production; however, since 2004 the company has sailed on a new journey with a new distinctive ‘Technology line’ having… a collection of strollers, car seats and so on.
Two separate ranges: Child Wood and Baby Technology
About the product range housed at Foppapedretti, she informs “the ‘Child Wood’ range primarily has a wide assortment of wooden furniture products such as high chairs, beds, cots, drawer chests and wardrobes. The Foppapedretti highchair “Il Sediolone”, in almost 40 years, has sold over one million units in Italy alone. Each item made of wood is designed down to the finest detail and the load-bearing structures of our products are in solid wood are treated with non-toxic, water-based paints with rounded corners and edges, and wheels which have a locking system: all in compliance with European safety standards.”
Talking about the Technology range of products, she says “we have expanded our products and have included a distinctive ‘Baby Technology’ line which is all about innovation. It comprises of a range of Combined Systems, Strollers, High Chairs, Car Seats, Anti-Abandonment device, Safety (Baby Monitors) and Bouncers & Activity Centers.”
“we are eagerly looking to extend our presence in the Indian market as we understand that it’s an important and a very appealing market in terms of business opportunities and potential.”
Foppapedretti has recently introduced Mammamia Collection which is a line of premium, high-end innovative products for the child in different stages of growth and combines both design and functionality. About how Mammamia came into being, she informs “it is a project designed by two designers of the Whynot team just when they both became dads: the products have a very marked identity, characterized by essential lines to meet specific needs. With Mammamia, our aim is to bring a complete experience: refined furniture products, with great functionality. It has an assortment of high chairs, cots and changing tables, defined by the integration of technology and wood.”
Plans to enter Indian market and the current market reach of Foppapedretti
Mentioning about their prospective goal to foray into the Indian market, she affirms “we are eagerly looking to extend our presence in the Indian market as we understand that it’s an important and a very appealing market in terms of business opportunities and potential. We have big hopes from the Indian market and and we are quite optimistic of getting a good response.”
Stating the current market presence of the company, she says “we have an extensive market presence all over in Europe, and of course, Italy is our primary market. Then, we are also present in Greece, Spain, and we have also established our presence recently in markets such as South Africa, Hong Kong and China. We are seeking to build up on the export and reach of our products.”
“With Mammamia, our aim is to bring a complete experience… It has an assortment of high chairs, cots and changing tables, defined by the integration of technology and wood.”
On manufacturing and recent developments
The company is FSC® certified that means it has products that are made with wood from forests that are managed correctly and responsibly according to strict environmental, social and economic standards.
Illustrating the efficiency in manufacturing, she says “our entire manufacturing takes place in Italy itself. We have a skilled team of our in-house engineers and designers who work diligently in the designing of the products and we oversee each process in the making of our products with precision.”
As about the recent developments, she informed “we strive to consistently innovate and expand our product range. In terms of coming up with new products, we are going to introduce the new modular system in the stroller collection that is ‘Eureka’ which is very versatile and has amazing features. It can be converted easily from a stroller into a carrycot then we have a range of compatible car seats also.”
“The fundamental design characteristics can be defined in terms of: usability, safety, strength and foldability… Foppapedretti has gained the trust of families in Italy and wherever we have set up or presence around the world.”
Highlighting the strengths and how the Italian influences in the product line give a unique edge to the Foppapedretti products, she says “coming up with extraordinary products to meet the requirements of the market has always been our core objective. The Italian sense of creativity and design is expressed well in our products. A team of engineers and designers is constantly committed to design projects and inventions, selecting new materials and industrializing new prototypes. Then, we also supervise and take diligent care in every phase of manufacturing of the products. The fundamental design characteristics can be defined in terms of: usability, safety, strength and foldability: that is in a single word- functionality. With the high quality standards of our product range, Foppapedretti has gained the trust of families in Italy and wherever we have set up or presence around the world.”
On being ecologically responsible
Foppapedretti only uses wood from certified geographical areas and from forests where reforestation is guaranteed and verified by the forestry organizations. Proclaiming about the ecological commitment of the company, Zanelli says “Foppapedretti is a FSC® certified company that means we have products made with wood from forests that are managed correctly and responsibly as per the strict environmental, social and economic standards. We also use non-toxic, water-based paint that ensures that the harmful emissions released in the environment are drastically reduced.”
Their ecological commitment is not just limited to the wooden products and processing as she adds “we support our energy consumption through the use of photovoltaic panels and another key policy for us is recycling. We contribute in projects on global reforestation and environmental recovery by the Onlus Bioforest organisation to promote a sustainable manufacturing culture.”