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Handmade Ice Cream: a jewel of the crown of Made in Italy

Italian ice cream parlours conquer international markets boosting Italian economy

Handmade Ice Cream: a jewel of the crown of Made in Italy

Claudia Astarita

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Handmade ice cream is definitely one of the bestseller products of Made in Italy abroad, appreciated by consumers of all ages.

"Gelaterie" or ice cream parlours are becoming popular all over the world, with a special focus on Anglo-Saxon countries (such as Australia, the UK and the US) where in the last decade the Italian gelato experienced a real boom.

On this subject it is worth mentioning that there are 60.000 gelaterie out of Italian borders, mainly focused on capital cities. It goes without saying that the proliferation of this gourmet business has a positive economic impact on the whole supply chain. According to a recent study on Italian ice cream conducted by Orienta Partners, an Italian agency specialized in commercial and international expansion, the 150 workers in Italy specialized in ice cream making are able to create a 2 billion Euros business. A significant portion of revenue is also generated by the producers of specialized machines (about 300 million Euros, whose 80% comes from abroad), by the producers of special equipment and furniture (500 million Euros, whose 30% comes from exports) and by semi-final products (450 million Euros, whose 50% comes from exports as well).

As a result, internationalization becames a priority and target to be achieved. The best countries to plant a business seem today the Middle Eastern ones, Russia, North Africa, South America but also Spain, where night movida is quite active. So far, Germany stands as the main export market, but Eastern Europe, along with Far East, Australia and the US seem going in the right direction to increase their demand.

One of the most successful Handmade Gelateria abroad is Amorino gelato al naturale. Founded by two young Italians in Paris in 2002, it counts today 105 shops in 13 countries. Another important brand is Ci gusta, which already has 48 shops in 20 countries and which has recently signed a partnership with the Chinese Nina Food to open 300 handmade ice cream parlours in China, Hong Kong and Macao.

In addition, some other Italians are focusing on organic ice cream, becoming more and more popular. For instance, the Italian Grom is quite fruitful and already present in 35 cities.

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