Aperitivo time unlocks passion for appetizer kits

Italian cheese and salumi brands offer ready kits for happy hour

Enjoying an aperitivo, the typical Italian way to spend happy hours with cocktails and a rich variety of the best quality food, is trending also in North America, bringing new creative ideas for the retail and foodservice channels. In a sign of how the trend is bringing innovation, Italian producers of olives, cheese and salami are adding to their traditional offer a new range of appetizer kits that mix selected products from other manufacturers.


Salami specialist Veroni is launching the range ‘Antipasto Italiano’, which pairs its renowned cold cuts with authentic provolone cheese, or with breadsticks. Table olive producer Ficacci offers an assortment of regional olives for aperitif moments, including a medley of pitted Leccino olives garnished with Provencal herbs and hot spicy peppers that are particularly suitable for cocktails and appetizers. Provolone cheese maker Auricchio has launched six varieties of cheese creams and a new provolone snack in single serve packages for consumers who want a quality snack on the go.


The market for meal kits has grown exponentially in the United States, bringing an unprecedented convergence between the foodservice and retail industry as consumers want to eat at home what they enjoy at a restaurant. In-store meal kits generated 154.6 million dollars in sales in 2017, rising more than 26% year-over-year, according to Nielsen. It was valued at approximately 4.65 billion U.S. dollars, and is forecast to reach around 11.6 billion U.S. dollars by 2022. As a comparison, total brick-and-mortar sales for center store food reclined 0.1% last year to 374 billion dollars. Overall, 9% of Americans, or 10.5 million households, said the purchased a meal kit in the past six months, Nielsen said. More than 30 million households said they were considering trying a meal kit in the next six months.


Australian food and drinks industry has been moving from quantity to quality. More and more restaurants are serving elaborate dishes and especially in the Australian capital cities, food became the new topic of conversations and something to celebrate as a divinity. As it is happening with the growing popularity of gourmet dishes, drink habits too are changing. Lower alcohol cocktails are on the rise. Moreover, a new wave of fashionable young Italian are making their way to the country bringing their lifestyle and what they like the most: enjoy their time. It came to no wonder that Aperol and Prosecco won Best Sales Achievement in their categories at the 2017 Australian drinks Awards, the drinks industry premier event. Best Sales Achievement is determined by the brand with the highest incremental volumetric sales from the previous 15 months, including market (total domestic sales on and off-premise, excluding duty free and exports), product and sales.


Australia is embracing the Italian pre-dinner drinks tradition. The Aperitif category has been growing by 32% in the last year. Aperol is leading the way leading the way with a growth of 90% since last summer according to AZTEC data. Aperol red umbrellas have started popping up all over Australia, especially during main events. Club Aperol were at the Hopman Cup, Brisbane International, APIA International, World Tennis Challenge, Hobart International and the Australian Open where last year More than 60,000 Aperol Spritz were consumed at the Australian Open Series. But it is not only Aperol, the love of Australians for bitter drinks and vermouth is on the rise so more Australians are starting to order besides the more popular Spritz, also Americano, Negroni, Bellini or Prosecco.

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