More than 50 events, 50 consortia, wineries, Italian food & wine and lifestyle companies, more than 500 importers and local distributors, more than 100 certified Italian restaurants involved: these are the numbers of Authentic Italian Table, the event with which 9 Italian Chambers of Commerce Abroad (CCIE) of Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, and Mexico City bring to the table the excellence of the Italian culinary tradition and authentic product 100% Made in Italy. The aim is to promote knowledge among an audience of about 20,000 people, including specialized press, wine and food influencers, nutritionists and Italian food lovers. The initiative is part of the True Italian Taste project, promoted and financed by the Italian Ministry of Economic Development and implemented by Assocamerestero, in cooperation with nine Italian Chambers of Commerce in the United States, Canada and Mexico. The event, which will involve North America between April and May, started in Mexico City with various activities dedicated to authentic Italian food and agriculture, and to the mix of innovation and respect for tradition that is at the basis of its success.
Italian food in North America
The NAFTA Area is the leading export sales market for Made in Italy food and beverage outside Europe, with exports worth 4.8 billion euros in 2017 and a 14.2% share of total agri-food exports, head-to-head with Germany (14.9%). 2018 also began as a year of growth, with sales up 14.5% on January 2017. Moreover, the United States and Canada are among the top 10 export destinations for PDOs and PGIs, accounting for 12.4% of exports of certified products. Wine and other beverages account for about half of sales in these two countries (45.9% and 50.3% respectively) and 39.6% of those in Mexico. In addition to this record, among the best-selling products in North America we can find oil (with a share of 13.5% and about 12%), followed by condiments, confectionery products, and ready meals (13.1% and 12.0%). The latter also show good results in Mexico: in fact, they account for over a quarter of Italian agri-food exports to the country.
An immersive experience
The Italian Chambers abroad have always worked in contact with consumers and local business communities. This has allowed us, thanks to the support of the Ministry of Economic Development, to create a brand event more responsive to the needs of an evolving market – says Gaetano Fausto Esposito, Secretary General of Assocamerestero. Consumers and foreign operators increasingly demand quality and sustainability, as well as more innovative ways of consuming and knowing products. This is why we have imagined an immersive experience for them, which will allow them to experience first-hand whiche the real excellent Italian agri-foods products and how they can be applied to their markets. It is only by making us perceive its value that we will be able to stem a phenomenon such as the Italian Sounding, which penalizes our exports with a turnover equal to about 40% of the turnover of the entire Italian food industry.
Dairy products are the most affected by the Italian Sounding counterfeiting phenomenon in North America: price reductions compared to the original product vary from -13% of Fontina in Chicago to -38% of ‘Parmesan’, to -50% of Mascarpone, to -48% of ‘Asiago. In some North American distribution chains, peaks of -75% for Provolone, -68% for Gorgonzola and -80% for Fontina and Pecorino are reached in Los Angeles. In addition to the North American market, Authentic Italian Table will also bring Italian food to the main European and Asian countries, while in Italy the appointment with this and the other initiatives of the 100% Made in Italy food promotion project is at Cibus 2018, the largest Italian event in the sector to be held in Parma from 7 to 10 May.