Categorized | Americas, Europe, Events, Features

Sourcing Italian Private Label Products

Posted on 15 March 2021

Marca, Italy’s leading private label trade show, is hosting a 10-day digital component to facilitate B2B meetings.

Marca, now in its 17th edition, is traditionally held in Bologna, Italy, and is regarded as one of the leading private label trade exhibitions and conferences in the world. In response to Covid-19 travel restrictions, BolognaFiere, Marca’s organizer, has launched a new digital platform to support and boost dialogue between exhibitors and private label buyers. Buyers from all over the world who traditionally would have traveled to Italy for the show can now enjoy the benefits of Marca from the convenience of their workstation.

Marca Digitial Session by Bologna Fiere from March 15 – 25

Marca 2020 Facts and Figures

Marca 2020, held in January of last year, set new milestones with 892 exhibitors and over 12,000 attendees. These results can be in part credited to the efforts of the Italian Trade Agency (ITA), which works with Marca to send trade delegations to attend the show in Italy. To prepare for the challenges of hosting a virtual trade show, BolognaFiere designed a user-friendly digital platform with advanced search capabilities and a built-in video conference feature.

The digital platform is already active, and on February 15th, the meeting booking phase opened up. Now participants and exhibitors alike can search the platform and pre-arrange meetings to be held during the virtual show dates on March 15th – 25th. The digital platform is simple to use with features that allow you to set your availability and easily manage your calendar.

Marca 2021 will provide a digital bridge between producers and buyers working to satisfy the private label industry’s continued growth. In the United States, there is now a 99% household penetration of private label products (Nielson Retail Measurement 2019). Additionally, throughout the pandemic, store brands continue to outpace national brands (Nielson POS).

As more people get vaccinated, grocery stores will start competing with restaurants again for consumers’ dollars, making it more critical than ever to maintain customer loyalty in the food sector. To achieve this, retailers have begun sourcing quality products and offering them at competitive price points under their store brand. When it comes to areas of quality products, Italy is among the best.

Italy has one of the most robust DOP (Denomination of Protected Origin) European food certification systems and counts over 312 PDO, PGI, and TSG certified products. These certifications are in place to identify and differentiate quality authentic products. Certified Italian products account for nearly 40% of exports to the United States (Ismea – Qualivita 2020). Healthy eating trends in the United States are a lifestyle in Italy, and Americans are now more than ever in love with Italian cuisine (YouGov Survey 2020).

When it comes to sourcing, Italy remains one of the top countries in Europe for private label food products and is the first for organic, ecological, and sustainable value-added products. In addition to the many benefits and the value that come from “Made in Italy” products, Italy boasts an efficient and flexible network of qualified companies capable of manufacturing products to meet retailers’ specific needs in the United States, not only quality but also quantity-wise.

Hy-Vee’s Gustare Vita Store Brand features over 100 Authentic “Made in Italy” products

Success stories from large supermarkets such as Hy-Vee under their “Gustare Vita” Made in Italy store brand showcase how important it is to find Italian private label producers that can align with and complement your store brand’s merchandising strategy. Walmart, with its authentic Italian private label line of products under the “Sam’s Choice Italia” is another perfect example of featuring a wide assortment of high-quality products that capture the taste and flavors of “Italian Authenticity.”

Building out a line of store-brand products is a challenging task. Marca’s digital sessions intend to be the first step in that direction, by offering introductions between Italian manufacturers and retailers. Beyond the trade show, the ITA Chicago office encourages major U.S. retailers to explore the possibilities of building a line of authentic “Made in Italy” store brand products.

Among the many activities coordinated by the ITA Chicago office, the most impactful is their ongoing partnerships with major supermarket chains in promoting “The Extraordinary Italian Taste.” The ITA’s multi-million dollar “Made in Italy” campaign educates both consumers and retailers on authentic Italian products’ value and benefits. Whether it is assisting a retailer that is building out their store brand or searching for a greater selection of authentic Italian products, the ITA plays a vital role in satisfying American consumers’ appetite for “Made in Italy” products.

Register for Marca Digital Session here:

Digital Edition Sponsored by Global Tissue Group