"Offering so many varieties has placed us at the forefront of the Spanish cheese sector"
Founded in 1963 by Teodoro García Trabadelo, the TGT Group is a benchmark in the world of cheese production and distribution nationwide. Manufactures the widest range of DOP in Spain, including: Manchego, Roncal, Idiazábal, fresh cheese from Murcia, Tetilla, Arzúa Ulloa, Cabrales and Mahón.
TGT is a family business, founded in 1963 by Teodoro García Trabadelo, a benchmark in the world of cheese. How do you manage to continue being leaders after so many years?
At TGT we have restlessness in our DNA. At the beginning of the company, Teodoro García Trabadelo's vision was always set in the future, as well as in improving and offering the best and in the best way. Today, that DNA is still present throughout the company and we are prepared for the challenges that new times pose with the same spirit.
With a defined path and a clear direction, the entire group works to make things happen and carry out the projects that make us a better company day after day, which is why determination is also a key factor.
Currently, Grupo TGT maintains a strong leadership attitude, with more than a thousand people behind it who work only to rigorously offer the highest quality, always attentive to opportunities and with the strength of two 100% integrated links in the value chain, the result of a diversification strategy as a group.
The new course of the group has led us to be an already consolidated Industrial player with 12 factories, capable of producing a wide variety of different cheeses; from commodity products such as grated and sliced to the most exquisite PDO specialties. This is where TGT puts all its knowledge to bring the best cheeses to the table.
On the other hand, our commitment to the client is total, which is why our capillary network, unique in the world of distribution, connects TGT with the client in almost any part of the country so that service is the priority with the experience of a company that was initially born from distribution.
This restless and demanding attitude rooted in TGT's DNA has allowed us to be a changing company, adapted to different demands, and always with vision, like Teodoro Garcia Trabadelo.
It currently has 17 delegations throughout Spain and 12 factories between its own and associates. What position does it have in Spain and globally?
In Spain we are recognized as the greatest expert in the world of cheeses, as we have the broadest product portfolio on the market, with more than 2.000 cheese references: from classic and widely consumed cheeses to the most select and appetizing specialties, following consumer trends or creating new product lines. The fact that we offer so many varieties has placed us at the forefront of the Spanish cheese sector with a turnover of 456 million euros during 2022.
At an international level, we have delegations, with subsidiaries in Panama, Mexico, Uruguay and Portugal and we are present through distributors in some countries such as Cuba, Germany, the US and El Salvador.
The company manufactures a wide range of PDOs in Spain, including: Manchego, Roncal, Idiazábal, Tetilla, Cabrales and Mahón. To what extent is Spanish cheese known internationally?
We are the ideal manufacturer for international distributors, since with a single group they can cover the main Spanish denominations of origin, which are highly appreciated in markets such as the United States and North Africa for their quality and excellent flavor.
They have renewed their entire corporate image. Why did you decide to take that step?
Since its foundation, Grupo TGT has been highly recognized in the distribution sector, but in 2018 we took a strategic turn: if you are the benchmark for cheese in Spain, you can not only distribute it, you have to manufacture it. In this way, we decided to focus on the growth of own-manufactured brands and begin to build the B2C channel, where we have launched brands such as Ahuyentalobos, Oh my cheese or El Galán, which have been a sales success. This commitment to own manufacturing led to a change of image to be more attractive and recognizable for the final consumer.
What are the main characteristics of this change, at the level of the logo, colors, typography...?
Our objectives with this change were clear: to be perceived as market leaders with quality products and to continue being a family model with a multinational vision without losing flexibility and commercial DNA.
For this we carry out a brand restyling. Through our logo, we reflect recognition, trust, quality and leadership. We bet on a typeface that is reminiscent of the dairy world and that expresses appetizing due to its rounded shape. The use of lower case makes us a brand closer to the consumer. In our logo we incorporate the "since 1963" as a sign of tradition and authenticity. We have built our brand little by little and now the TGT logo is recognized by our consumers as a synonym of quality.
Being such a broad project, with many references, it must have been a long road. Have all the phases been completed yet?
It is a long road in which we still have a lot of work to do. With each new release we take a step forward in terms of design and creativity. This is the case of Ahuyentalobos, which has one of the most disruptive images on the market and its own very powerful storytelling: wolves that fear sheep! We believe that the way forward is to invest in the flavor and quality of our cheeses without forgetting the image and story. And it is that our products enter by taste and smell, but also by sight.
Do you think that the consumer already recognizes TGT as a prestigious brand?
Definitely. We are the only ones with a global approach to the entire cheese category and we work to be in all refrigerators in Spain. We want the consumer to think that we are the benchmark for quality cheeses when they see our products. And I think we are getting it.
How do you implement a more sustainable production?
Betting on local production, guaranteeing animal welfare, implementing policies to reduce the consumption of water and electricity and looking for packaging with less plastic. We attend to the needs of the consumer, who is increasingly demanding with companies that have a commitment to care for the environment. Obviously, we still have a long way to go, but we are on the right track.
They have recently obtained the Animal Welfare certificate for raw cow's milk processed in their Ólvega Lácteos Naturales SL factory. What has it meant for TGT?
This certification is recognition of the effort and good work of our farms, which work every day to offer the best product, without neglecting the careful treatment that animals deserve.
TGT guarantees that 100% of the milk with which it makes its products in this factory, including the production of Lacturale milk, Saiona milk and Natura Llet, meets the animal welfare requirements required by the certification.
The certification assures the consumer the existence of an exhaustive audit in all phases of production with maximum information and transparency. Continuous improvement, self-control and traceability are aspects that are also covered.
As for your packaging, what kind of materials do you use? Do you think about its subsequent recycling? Have you taken steps to reduce the plastic in your packaging?
We are in continuous work with our R&D department to contribute in the best way to care for the planet and the environment. TGT is a company involved in sustainability and plastic reduction, which is why in our cheese transformation plant and logistics platform in Guadalajara we are working on new production lines that allow us to reduce plastic in our packaging without affecting quality and product flavor.
It is a major challenge considering that cheese is very sensitive to changes in temperature and air, so we have to find a suitable packaging that maintains the quality, flavor and characteristics of the cheese.
Do you plan to present something new soon?
We have several novelties for this year, some very powerful and that are going to give a lot to talk about. At the moment, I can only anticipate the launch of the first range of pre-cut wedges with edible crust.