In the world gelato market – which can count on over 100,000 gelato parlors around the globe, with a current turnover of EUR15bn, and an average annual growth of 4% between 2015 and 2018 – the United States is the “hottest” country, according to SIGEP organizers.
The market is constantly growing, with enormous potential which the most organized companies have been cultivating for some time and with the promotional initiatives (in particular Gelato World Tour and Gelato Festival) are increasing consumers’ interest. There are already 1,000 artisan gelato parlors in the USA, a figure that has very wide margins for improvement. From the 410 million dollars in sales in 2009, an increase to over 430 million is estimated in 2017, reaching 473 million dollars in 2020.
Below are some trends pointed out by the trade fair organizers:
Sigep Observatory: The East Coast, Florida and Miami
The SIGEP Observatory, which monitors world trends in the Italian artisan confectionery business, reports that among those intending to open an artisan gelato parlor abroad the most attractive destination is precisely the United States. In particular the East Coast. On the Atlantic coast, from north to south, Florida is the most popular American state and, of all the cities, Miami is the one where the greatest interest in the market is reported.
The Top Flavors
If vanilla and chocolate were the most popular flavor in the States up until recently, now they are choco-mint and tropical fruits (in particular mango), which have won over even the most hard-to-please American palates. The sweet-savory combination, such as salted caramel, is meeting with good success, a trend that from the gelato sector is also influencing the candy sector.
Philadelphia: The Boom of Italian-Made Artisan Gelato
Both the proposal of savory gelato (symbolic dishes include carbonara with bacon gelato), and counter sales of traditional gelato are both working very well. American palates appreciate the tastiness of quality gelato, they are aware of the difference in flavor compared with and ice cream. In Philadelphia the fact that 30% of the population is of Italian origin also contributes to this, so there was therefore an excellent starting point.
Focus On the U.S. Market
With this premise, there is very eager expectation for appointment with “Going Global” (on Saturday 20th January 2018, in Neri Room 2), the conference promoted by Sistema SIGEP, which for over a decade has been an absolute reference point for trade members intending to open an Italian artisan gelato parlor abroad, with a focus this year on the United States. The event has the patronage of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Speeches are foreseen by important key players, such as Nora Serrani, Deputy Executive Director of the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce Southeast, and consultancy companies specialized in assistance for setting up business in the United States. Valuable indications will come from Colliers International, the company specialized in commercial real estate research worldwide. The meeting’s agenda will be further enriched by a company report by a business woman who has opened a new gelato parlor at Disney Springs in Orlando.
“Florida is without doubt the spearhead for expansion on the USA market of Italian artisan gelato parlors”, anticipates Nora Serrani, deputy executive director of the Italy-America Chamber of Commerce Southeast. “In fact, several successful business experiences started off from here and then spread to the rest of the United States, by means of the development of a franchising network. We are still as the initial stage of this, which began no more than 5-6 years ago. We’ll focus our speech at SIGEP on these best practices. There is great potential for entrepreneurs wanting to undertake the route traced by these trail-blazers.
The USA is the country with the world’s largest consumption of ice-cream with a sales volume of over 14.3 billion dollars in 2015, and in this context there is a considerable margin for growth for Italian artisan gelato, which still represents a minimum slice of this market, approximately 5% according to the data published by Forbes.”
SIGEP takes place this January 20-24, in Rimini, Italy.