San Benedetto Group: the Italians ‘sparkle’ in China

China is one of the top ten world markets for the Italian total beverage company
San Benedetto Group: the Italians ‘sparkle’ in China

The mistake that most Italian businesses make is to risk too little and invest inadequate resources in a real project of internationalization of the Chinese market. They yet to have sufficient faith in the growth potential of the country. There is an array of case histories, especially in the field of bottled mineral water. Massimo Resaz, export director of San Benedetto Group confirmed this to Food. “In the beverage category we were able to create an élite, together the major French mineral water market, with recognition in terms of quality and packaging design. We are growing at rates not comparable with other countries, in terms of volume. China is one of the top ten world markets for San Benedetto.”

Today, the company based in Scorzè (Venice) is present through the general importer and with a mixed distribution model (direct and through sub-distributors), and is on the shelves of all the major international chains (Metro and Carrefour in particular) and the national chains. Initially it was not straight forward.

“We suffered a lot from cultural differences and administrative barriers and the classification of the product – points out Resaz – but we did not give in. We obtained the necessary certifications to export on a large scale even in the inner provinces, not only Shanghai and Beijing. The choice of partners is essential; international brand awareness is also a necessary element of support and finally having a headquarters capable of mediating and recognizing the different needs and expectations is key. Recent institutional arrangements will surely promote the expansion of Italian products in China. In particular, the change of European specifications for food and the adjustment of tariffs on imports could help further development of Italian business in the Chinese market”.

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