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Italian Food & Wine Companies Seek Distributors to Launch Their Products in India


Seven Italian food and wine companies including ICARDI, Gruppo Agroalimentare Italiano SRL, Italiano SRL, Coppini Angelo, Pastificio F.lli Cellino S.r.l., Riso Gallo S.p.A, and Wine Selection Sebastiano Ramello are looking for distributors to launch their brands and products in India.

ICARDI was established in 1914 in Castiglione Tinella and offers red and white wine which is produced through organic cultivation and biodynamic techniques. Gruppo Agroalimentare Italiano SRL started the production of extra virgin olive oil in 2009 (from organic agriculture). The company also produces semolina, fresh and dried pastas in both whole and white grain. Italiano SRL wants to sell three products in India, namely, Frantoi Cutrera (perfumed oil from Sicily ), Acetaia Leonardi (balsamic vinegar), and Confetti Ovidio (sweets with water, sugar, and Avola almonds spinned in copper pots, available in 15 flavours). Coppini Angelo company, located in the Umbria region, has been into olive oil production  since 1955. It offers a wide range of extra virgin olive oils, olive oils, and pomace olive oils in Italy and in more than 40 countries. The Pastificio F.lli Cellino S.r.l., part of the Cellino Group, was founded in 2001 produces 65.000 t pasta every year in 40 different teflon die shapes and 12 bronze die shapes. Riso Gallo S.p.A  is is family run business (sixth generation) established in the North of Italy in 1856. Gallo claims to be the number one rice brand in Italy with a market share of 22 percent in value (Nielsen data). The company produces Italian Risotto rice varieties like Arborio, Carnaroli, and Vialone Nano. It also produces ready made Risotto, Expresso Risotto, 3 Grains, Rice Cakes, and gluten free "3 Grains Pasta". Gallo exports to 74 countries across the world. The Wine Selection Sebastiano Ramello brings wine from Piedmont, Veneto, Tuscan, Calabria, and Friuli regions of Italy.

Speaking on the sidelines of a workshop and B2B programme organised at Hyatt Regency New Delhi on 11th November by ICE -Italian Trade Agency, Dott Amedeo Scarpa, Trade Commissioner (ICE) said that the Italian way of approaching the people traditionally is really well accepted in India. Amit Lohani, Convener FIFI (Forum of Indian Food Importers) then gave a presentation on "Capitalizing on the Consumer Market  Opportunity in India," sharing details about the distribution system, labeling requirements, and custom duty regulations. Lohani said that the Indian gourmet industry is growing at 20-30 percent on an average. He advised the participants to have India on radar with a well-defined strategy, due diligence of partners, and planned promotions. Lohani further added that last year olive oil registered a growth of 73 percent, pasta grew at 49 percent, while wine grew at about 25 percent in India.

Rakesh  Gambhir, VP, Food, Images Group, also gave a presentation on modern retail in India to guide the companies for a successful foray in the country. Gambhir said that despite the challenges India offers a huge opportunity for growth of international brands. He added that countries and brands need to be aggressive about launching their brands in India. Giving an overview of retail in India, he said that each state in India has its own preferences and norms thus international retailers must bear that in mind and launch their products accordingly. Indian economy has grown to be the third largest economy of the world after US and China. The growth of the large middle class is due to IT, manufacturing, biotechnology, and service sector. Driving the change in India are factors like high income, changing attitudes, Internet exposure, and necessities to lifestyle. Talking about the economic scenario, Gambhir said that India has witnessed a steady increase in GDP. Growing consumerism, he said, is yet another bright spot for the global brands and companies as there has been a 31 percent increase in urban households which is expected to reach 40 percent by 2030. The middle class in the country has grown to 267 million this year. He also stated that 25 percent of the world’s population under 25 years resides in India. Highlighting some of the key figures providing an overview of retail, Gambhir mentioned that India’s total retail trade is estimated to grow to USD 860 billion by 2015 from the current USD 510 billion and organised retail in the country is likely to account for 15-20 percent market share in the future. Providing a roadmap for the imported food market in India, Gambhir said that the participating companies should begin with a pilot testing with the hyper formats  in key cities for 6-12 weeks and not launch their products pan India, train the workforce to adress the niche segment of consumers, develop alternate model of SIS for a limited period for better branding, share the health benefits with the consumers, track the competition and try piggy back introduction with complementary articles, have complate coordination with merchandising teams and supply chains, engage ladies or men for recipe or tasting contests, refresh the shelves with latest stock even during low sales, and participate in the country’s best B2B platform for the food industry, i.e.  Food and Grocery Forum India (FGFI) to be held on 23rd and 24th January, 2014 at the Bombay Exhibition Centre.