Laws & Labels

Italian Sounding, a €54 billion global fraud

According to Assocamerestero the Italian Sounding market is worth more than a half of Italy's food industry annual turnover, with an 80% fall in imitation products prices

Assocamerestero, an association representing on Unioncamere 78 Italian Chambers of Commerce abroad – has published the results of its research on Italian Sounding. The research focuses on the misuse of geographical indication appealing to Italy, which induce buying not-Italian food products. Assocamerestero has tried to identify Italian Sounding’s features and peculiarities, in order to assess its impact on Italian food & wine companies export.

ECONOMIC IMPACT – Italian Sounding is a growing problem, whose economic impact is often underestimated. Its turnover is equivalent to €54 billion (24 billion of which in Northern and Central America), and it’s worth more than a half of Italy’s food industry turnover (€132 billion in all). Assocamerestero’s research on Italian Sounding analyses various parameters: sales channels, products type, packaging (colours and graphics), differences in price between authentic products and imitations (about -30%). The concerned products are dairy products, pasta, sauces, meat, vinegar, oil, pickled food, baked goods and wine.

ITALIAN SOUNDING BESTSELLERS – Italian Sounding food usually costs much less than authentic Italian products. Prices can go down of 80%. Dairy products are the most affected by Italian Sounding, due to difficulties in obtaining authentic products. In Chicago the fall in prices can reach -13% for Fontina, -38% for “parmesan”, -50% for Mascarpone and -48% for Asiago. In some distribution chains we can observe a -75% fall in Provolone price, -68% for Gorgonzola and -80% for Fontina or Pecorino cheese (in Los Angeles).

AUTHENTICITY – In order to promote the consumption of authentic Made in Italy food, nine Italian Chambers of Commerce in USA, Canada and Mexico have fielded various initiatives: 16 training activities involving 600 operators among chefs, nutritionists, sales associates, influencers and specialised press. Moreover, 35 promotional events in the USA and in Canada took place in certified Italian restaurants, not to forget the creation of a database listing 700 influencers chosen as “ambassadors” of authentic Italian food consumption. The Italian Sounding business shows that the global demand for Italian food is strong, and a great part of it has not yet been intercepted. Thanks to the project promoted by Italy’s Ministry for Economic Development, the Italian network of Chambers of Commerce abroad is working on this says President of Assocamerestero Gian Domenico Auricchio. We are convinced that the reputation damage caused by imitation food products, which are very far from Italy’s standards of excellence, could be contained only by the dissemination of authentic Made in Italy products’ culture and knowledge, together with solid alliances with local business communities.

© Riproduzione Riservata