Despite the setback caused by the outbreak of the pandemic (-35% of turnover in 2020), the supply chain has already registered + 25% in 2021, for a turnover of 8.7 billion euros, over 65,000 points sales and 300,000 employees in Europe alone. A positive trend mainly influenced by a good summer 2021, with consumption driven by national tourism in the most important countries, such as Italy, Germany, Spain and Poland, and peaks due to the high temperatures that supported consumption in Central and Southern Italy.
In fact, artisanal ice cream has a very broad geography in which Europe is the absolute protagonist. If gelato parlours are present in 76 countries in the world, the Old Continent is in the forefront both for the presence of gelato parlours (about 65 thousand) and for consumption - first of all in Italy, Germany, Spain and Poland, but the presence is also important in other countries, from Austria to France, from Belgium to Holland. Italy, in particular, stands out for its turnover (2.8 billion euros in 2019, 1.85 billion in 2020 and 2.3 billion in 2021) and number of artisanal ice cream sales points (36 thousand between gelato parlours, pastry shops and coffe shops), with the highest concentration of gelato shops in Lombardy (11.2%), followed by Tuscany (9.3%) and Sicily and Emilia-Romagna (8.4%).
The Italian leadership in the world also concerns the sector of ingredients and semi-finished products for artisan gelato, in which, according to the Sigep Observatory, 65 companies operate that generate a total turnover of 1.8 billion euros, of which 800 million of semi-finished products. Not to mention the significant impact on the food chain: about 220 thousand tons of milk, 64 thousand tons of sugars and 50 thousand tons of fresh and dried fruit and other raw materials, often concerning small Italian agricultural excellence, such as the Bronte pistachio ( about 1,500 tons are purchased every year, almost half of Bronte's total production, to make pistachio ice cream) or Piedmontese hazelnuts (ingredient companies buy, process and resell around 1,800 tons of shelled Piedmontese hazelnuts a year) , the Sicilian almond or the Sorrento lemons.
Not to be forgotten is the sector of machines and equipment for artisanal gelato, in which Italy is once again in the forefront, exporting over 70% of production: according to ACOMAG - National Association of Gelato Machines, Furnishings, and Equipment Manufacturers, thanks to the recovery in 2021 the sector was close to the results of the pre-pandemic, with a turnover of 500 million euros and 1,300 employees in Italy alone.
On the other hand, it is difficult to make forecasts for 2022, with a market that could continue to grow, although an increase in consumer prices is expected, just in the event of a decrease in restrictions, a resumption of international tourist flows and a rapid stabilization of the international crisis that is hitting Europe.