The F&D industry is the second Italian industry after the metal working one and it becomes the first supply chain in the country if considered together with agriculture, satellite industries and distribution, transforming 70% of raw materials in Italy (2010 figures).
Food & Drink sector in Italy
Although the Italian F&D market has a very wide selection of local products accompanied by a
strong and world famous culinary tradition, UK companies can find here an interesting and
The F&D industry is the second Italian industry after the metal working one and it becomes the
first supply chain in the country if considered together with agriculture, satellite industries and
distribution, transforming 70% of raw materials in Italy (2010 figures).
Total turnover for 2010 was ?124 bn with a 3.3% growth on the previous year. This industry
includes 6,500 small, medium and large companies and employs almost 410,000 workers.
F&D is also ambassador of made in Italy in the world, since 76% of its exports consists of
branded industrial products with a value of almost ?21 bn in 2010.
? Major supermarkets have increased their private label product ranges. This is an area
where the UK industry might find a market entry.
? The beer market is highly diversified and sophisticated. In the first 5 months of 2011 4.7
million hectolitres of beer have been sold, +1.7% than previous year. About 1,500 brands
are manufactured and/or distributed in Italy and less than 2/3 of consumption (28,6 litres
per person per year in 2010) is satisfied through local production.
? Organics . Italy confirms its leadership for number of operators (47,663) and also for
production and product variety. It holds the second place for surface (more than one
million hectares). Purchases have increased by 11% in the first 4 months of 2011.
Although 52% of production takes place in the south, consumption is definitely
concentrated in the north (70% of total purchases is organic against 8% in the southern
Italy). There are about 1,000 independent shops in Italy specialised in organic F& D
? The Retail Trade sector includes about 19,000 points of sale for a total sales surface of 17
million sqm. The market is dominated by 5 major retail groups (Esselunga, Auchan, Coop,
Conad,, Selex,) which together account for about 60% of all retail sales.
? Speciality products . Italian consumers are highly discerning and sophisticated. They
search more for quality and speciality/genuine products than for price. Although quantities
cannot be high, the area of high quality and typical niche products is very successful in
? Food service is an incredibly high-growth sector with a turnover of ?750 bn, ?10bn more
than 2009, and a target of 12 million people eating out every day.
Latest export opportunities ? Food & Drink
Latest export opportunities - Italy
Getting into the market
The main route to market is via wholesalers/distributors and, to a lesser degree, agents. Italy is a
?long? country with deep differences between North and South and it is often necessary to work
with more than one business partner to obtain national coverage.
Some supermarket chains purchase direct. However, in-country support from a local and already
introduced distributor is crucial when introducing a new product to the market.
More about doing business in Italy
Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke
market research and support during overseas visits though our chargeable Overseas Market
Introduction Service (OMIS).
To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists
based overseas ? or contact your local international trade team.
? Valeria Notari , Head of F& D Unit, British Consulate-General, Milan, Tel: +39 02
72300 232 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
? Alessandra Carminati , British Consulate-General, Milan, Tel: +39 02 72300 218 or
Contact your local international trade team
UKTI runs a range of events for exporters, including seminars in the UK, trade missions to
overseas markets and support for attendance at overseas trade shows.
Latest events ? Food & Drink
Trade fairs still play an important role in Italian business, especially due to the fact that face-to-
face relationship is key to successful agreements. Major trade fairs for food and drink in 2012
Marca ? Own label products
date: 18-19 January 2012
SIGEP ? Supplies for ice cream, confectionery and artisan bakery
Date: 21-25 January 2012
Sapore ? F&D for the catering industry
Date: 25-28 February 2012
CIBUS ? General F&D industry
Date: 7-10 May 2012
Salone del Gusto ? International F&D with Slow Food criteria
Date: October 2012
More about OMIS and other UKTI services for exporters