The Italian American Chamber of Commerce (IACC) kicked off the weeklong event, entitled “The Experience of Italy / America Buys Italian 2023,” in Brescia on October 2 by connecting executives, leading buyers and purchasing managers from U.S. grocery retail chains with Italian producers. For the second year in a row, the IACC and, the National Grocers Association, and ExportUSA bring together executives and category buyers to network to gain exclusive, direct access to local Italian producers during the B2B summit. The purpose is to offer executives the chance to discover and source products while making new and profitable connections with Italian specialty food producers.
US RETAILERS MEET ITALIAN PRODUCERS
Between October 2 and October 6 at Villa Fenaroli in Brescia, Italy, American grocery executives participating in the summit have the opportunity for one-on-one meetings with Italian food and beverage companies and direct access with local producers for product sourcing and private label discussions. This year, executives from Buehler’s Fresh Food, Busch’s Fresh Food Market, Lowes Foods, NS Grocery, and Sendik’s Food Market are participating. In 2022, Bristol Farms, Heinen’s, Metropolitan Market, New Seasons Market, and Roche Bros. participated.
Some of the events on the itinerary for the summit include a presentation on “State of Italy’s Grocery Retail Industry” by Europe’s leading think tank, The European House-Ambrosetti. As well as lunch with Coop Italian Food North America, featuring Coop’s extensive range of food products and a winemaker’s tour at Guido Berlucchi & C. SpA.
A STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP TO CONNECT ITALY PRODUCTS AND AMERICAN SUPERMARKET
Federico Tozzi, Executive Director of IACC, tells Italian Food that, outside the major cities in America, he finds it difficult for Italian products to be positioned correctly in the United States. “One way to reach out to those areas and to reach the consumers is through the supermarkets.” For years, Tozzi has been looking to disrupt the model of American buyers going to Italy. He wanted to bring more Italian products to areas in the U.S. that have not yet been distributed and with a price that consumers would buy. That’s how the B2B summit and the recent partnership with the National Grocers Association (NGA) were born.
The IACC signed a partnership recently with the National Grocers Association, to bring the excellence of Italian agri-food products to independent supermarkets in the United States. The two organizations are joining forces to organize events and conferences in the coming months.
“Independent supermarkets are continually looking for innovative products and resources to differentiate themselves in the marketplace and better connect with their consumers,” said Greg Ferrara, President and CEO of NGA, in a statement. He added, “NGA and the Italy America Chamber have worked collaboratively to connect leading Italian brands to America’s top independent supermarkets and share best practices.”
A delegation from the NGA is participating in the “The Experience of Italy/America Buys Italian 2023” summit this year, which is taking place now. Coming up in March 2024, Italian companies have already signed up to participate in NGA’s show in Las Vegas. Founded in New York in 1887, the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce (IACC) is a nonprofit membership organization representing companies’ interests between the United States and Italy.