Ocado partners with Italia Del Gusto for Ciao Gusto web shop

The specialised section of the UK supermarket will see the Consortium of more than 30 Italian food brands collaborate with the e-commerce platform to offer authentic Italian specialties
Ocado partners with Italia Del Gusto for Ciao Gusto web shop

Ocado has become the first UK supermarket to create a dedicated online platform for its Italian products. More than 30 of Italy’s leading food and drink brands, including Barilla, Cirio and Filippo Berio, are now available via the Ciao Gusto online store which currently sells 300 products directly to Ocado customers. Ocado say this “authentic range of Italian products” will build on its portfolio of 50 other such ‘shops within a shop’ to help maximise the sales and profitability for its Italian suppliers. So how will it work? And what exactly are the opportunities for Italian producers?
Partnering with Consortium Italia Del Gusto Ocado say it will only work with “authentic” Italian producers to feature on the online store, with opportunities across pasta and sauces, cheese and dairy, chilled meals, charcuterie (cold cuts), coffee, tea and alcohol. “It is well known that many Italian sounding products are not necessarily made in Italy or according to the Italian food tradition,” explained the Consortium’s CEO Alberto Volpe. “Through this project we can bring to the UK consumer’s table a very significant share of products that are not only well known but also frequently used in every Italian home”. International brands such as Barilla have therefore been selected alongside lesser known Italian names such as San Benedetto soft drinks. These ranges are complemented with free recipes available to consumers for creating both traditional and more contemporary Italian dishes. This mix will offer consumers “a fully integrated, content rich e-commerce platform featuring recipes, tips and the facility to add ingredients to their shopping basket”.

THE ONLINE GROCERY BUSINESS IN THE UK –  Firstly, the UK has arguably the most advanced e-commerce grocery sector in the world. Growing at 14% year on year its growth is vastly outstripping bricks and mortar and offers smaller brands a valuable foothold where they may not qualify for space on the supermarket shelf. “The partnership with Ocado has provided the opportunity to develop a pilot project that would allow some of the companies who were not yet present in the UK market to enter also, which has given additional drive and value to the whole group,” added Volpe.
Another 100 products are expected to be added to the range by the end of 2016 but brands can only be considered where they are a fully signed up member of the consortium. The group says it selects companies based on the quality of their products and brand profile. But though the criteria may be tough, it’s worth the effort. The goal of the Consortium is to reach 500,000 pounds by the end of the year and to double this amount by 2017.

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