Coinciding with the Product of the Year 2020 Award for Embutidos Ortiz’s Chorizo with Kombu seaweed, Cadena SER in La Rioja interviewed Inés Ortiz, head of Quality and R&D&I at the Navarrete-based company. During the interview, Inés Ortiz explains the reasons why they decided to include Kombu seaweed in the family’s traditional recipe, whose history as producers of traditional Rioja sausages dates back to 1915.


– What is the reaction of people when they hear about your Chorizo with Kombu seaweed?

The reaction of our customers is obviously surprised to say the least.


– Why did you decide to use Kombu seaweed, a product that is not very well known in Spain?

When we decided to go for innovation, what we were looking for was to improve the nutritional value of our traditional recipe in which we use natural ingredients and no artificial additives. That is why we also wanted to use all-natural ingredients.

When you decide to innovate, you look for market trends and it is clear that vegetable proteins have been setting trends in recent years and they also have numerous properties. We wanted to use them not as a meat substitute but to improve their nutritional value. In addition, the Kombu seaweed made it possible to reduce the salt content and gives the chorizo a very special flavour.


– Is it essential that when the Chorizo with Kombu seaweed is tasted it still has that chorizo taste?

We are often asked why it does not have a higher percentage of Kombu seaweed and, as with the Chorizo with Quinoa, we have opted for this percentage because we want to improve the product without losing its essence.


– And how is it working?

It generates a lot of surprise but is selling very well. Chorizo with Quinoa has been on the market since May 2018 and Chorizo with Kombu seaweed has been on the market for eight months now. A recognition like this Product of the Year is an important anchor for this type of product. It has to be taken into account that in order to get the award it has been tested by 10,000 people, which is not a small number.


– We suppose that after the Chorizo with Quinoa and the Chorizo with Kombu Seaweed you are already working on a new product.

Of course, once we are committed to innovation and continuous improvement we are immersed in the new product. Our family has always been innovative and we will continue to be so, but always on the basis of products that improve the nutritional value of our traditional products.