Milan, 17 September 2020 – The 24th September is a symbolic date - exactly six months on from European Artisanal Gelato Day on the 24th March, which for the first time ever had to be held virtually due to the lockdown, we are back with events dedicated to one of the best-loved foodstuffs of all time, as well as the only one to be awarded its own day by the European Union.
24th SEPTEMBER: SIX MONTHS ON SINCE GELATO DAY. Star of the show will be Yogurt gelato with a strawberry ripple, the 2020 Flavour of the Year, as chosen by the Netherlands. Gelato parlours in the Artglace network will be offering this flavour along with all of their beloved creations, but there is plenty more – various events will be taking place across Italy to celebrate and support this unrivalled dessert and all of the artisanal knowhow that lies behind it. And the social media will be buzzing – all gelato parlours (both within and outside Artglace) will be able to contribute to the Gelato Day official pages by sending in photos and videos of the Flavour of the Year in a special celebration to mark a time when the sector is slowly but surely getting back on its feet. Despite the many serious issues caused by the health emergency and the lockdown, recent months have seen a sustained act of courage and creativity, involving master gelato artisans from every corner of Italy and throughout the rest of the world, which began back on the 24th of March.
MARKET GETS BACK TO HEALTH WITH DELIVERIES AND NEW LAUNCHES. In response to the fact that customers were unable to get to their favourite gelato parlour, there was a huge growth in online initiatives, social events and, of course, delivery services, which gave the sector a real boost. As reported by Deliveroo's "Gelato Delivery" Study Centre, gelato orders grew 350% in the period from January to May, increasing by 215% over the course of the last 12 months. A clear indication of the progress that gelato parlours have made – the surge in orders recorded at the beginning of June shows that gelato parlours have adapted to the times by leveraging alternative routes and new sales channels.
With the general reopening and a return, albeit limited, to pre-Covid habits, recovery in the sector has been tangible. As highlighted by the Italian Exhibition Group’s Sigep Study Centre, consumers have started flocking back to gelato shops, attracted by the finest Italian ingredients, with seasonal fruits such as melon and strawberries, as well as sorbets, ricotta creams and so on.
These are all positives which while seen from a wider perspective of course do not make up for the issues during the critical phase, at the very least are hopeful signs. In Europe, the situation varies significantly from one area to another – Spain, Poland and the Balkans have suffered enormously from the prolonged effects of the health crisis and the fall in tourism. Italy and Germany are both recovering well, enjoying a good summer, although it was not enough to cover the losses from the first half of the year. Southern Italy’s tourist regions (especially Puglia and Sicily) went well, with summer sales in line with last year and in some cases even higher. The same cannot be said for Lombardy, the big cities and the cities of art where sales plummeted.
On the other hand, a message of courage, hope and indomitable creativity comes from the opening of new gelaterias in the post-lockdown months – from Maestro Iginio Massari’s luxury patisseries which have started offering gelato at all their points of sale, focusing on simplicity and tradition, to the Paolo Brunelli Combo in the resort of Marzocca di Senigallia, which is looking to make gelato a year-round product with some highly original tastings and combinations. Other examples include Gelato Reale, in Cervere near Cuneo, which is now serving various recipes which the Vivalda family has been making ever since 1815; Nosh, the new gelateria on Milan’s Via Boccaccio using local produce, as well as the refined Crema outlet, inaugurated by Giorgio Bulgari stone’s throw from Milano City Life, where customers can delight on over 50 flavours in modern elegant surroundings.
NEXT DATE AT LONGARONE. A revival that has all the hallmarks of a renaissance, both physical and digital, to celebrate and support not only on the symbolic date of 24th September, but also throughout the year. Indeed, there will be plenty of opportunities to enjoy a good artisan gelato even after the summer has come to a close. Tuesday 1 and Wednesday 2 December sees the Gelateria Forum, an event put on by Longarone Fiere in place of the traditional MIG - International Exhibition of Hand-made Gelato (whose 61st edition has been put off until 2021). The Forum will provide an excellent opportunity for the gelato sector to meet up, with a series of events, assemblies and other meetings, as well as demonstrations and presentations of what have been the most successful flavours in this difficult period. There is also the Veneto Gelato Convention, with the presentation of awards to the region's oldest gelato parlours, and the Coppa d'Oro Competition, now in its 51st year. An event designed to help us look ahead, defining the strategies and developing the tools we need to give a boost to the restart in the 2021 season.
And Artglace, the association that, together with Longarone Fiere, created Gelato Day, is already thinking about 2021: Flavour of the Year 2021, chosen by Spain, will be unveiled here on December 1st. Stay tuned!!
European Artisanal Gelato Day is the only day that the European Parliament has ever dedicated to a foodstuff. Celebrated on 24th March every year in countries all over Europe, with events, meetings and initiatives which aim to spread the culture of artisanal gelato, Gelato Day is a unique opportunity to contribute both to this product and to craft knowledge, as well as to the development of the gastronomic tradition in this sector. One feature of Gelato Day is Flavour of the Year, chosen each year by one of the participating countries – for this eighth edition of Gelato Day on 24 March 2020 it is the turn of yogurt gelato with a strawberry ripple, chosen by Holland.
Alongside its original creators, Longarone Fiere and Artglace, Gelato Day also has struck the following partnerships for 2020: ACOMAG, the National Association of Machinery, Fixtures and Fittings Manufacturers for Gelato, the Italian Gelato Makers’ Association, CNA, the Committee of Campanian Gelato Makers, Confartigianato, the Italian Gelato Makers Federation, Conpait Gelato (the Confederation of Italian Pastry Chefs), GA - the National Committee for the Defence and Dissemination of Craft and Own-brand Gelato, GAT - Artisanal gelato Makers of the Triveneto, Masters of Italian Gelato, SIGEP - the Italian Exhibition Group’s International Hand-crafted Gelato, Pastry, Bakery and Coffee Fair, and the Unione Italian Food’s Gelato Products Group.