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A “Box” of Italian food

The new crowdfunding initiative exporting Italian quality products in the US

A “Box” of Italian food

Claudia Astarita

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A group of small Italian companies active in the food sector was able to become the first exporter of Made in Italy products to the US. Surprisingly, they started by producing excellences in a too small scale to create an adequate export market, but their development was impressive.

As explained by the Italian daily Corriere della Sera, the initiative was the result of a "crowdfunding" project, recently launched by Alessio Rossi (expert in digital marketing) and by Giovanni Colavita (CEO of the Colavita Group in the USA).

The platform used for the crowdfunding - concerning a multitude of economic supporters for the same project - was Kickstarter, the website that in 5 years only has gathered almost 10 million donors. Moreover, the platform was able to raise more than 2 billion US dollars used to fund 96 thousand projects.

In proportion to the quantity of money donors will invest, they will receive the so called "Italy in the Box", containing six Italian specialties, always changing! Among them, Sicilian anchovies, pasta from Molise, Torroncini from Piedmont and cheese from Tuscany are very popular. Other items will be collected by the Colavita group from small Italian producers and the same group will manage the shipping to the USA and the authorizations. Furthermore, the Box will contain a "storytelling" on the characteristics of the each product and its origins. Consumers could also order more quantities of the products received through the ad hoc app.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that this brilliant idea recalls Chris Anderson's theory of "long queue", concerning the use of digital technology as a tool to decrease the communication and distribution costs, making it possible to sell niche products as well. This technique was already used by American farmers, who gathered together to sell seasonal products coming from their farms to specific groups or families from the same area or neighbouring cities. Vegetables, eggs, cheese and fruit were usually delivered to the purchasers.

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