Various sectors have provided their own contribution to the growth of Italian hand-made gelato. Some of them are by no means household names, but they have been the force behind gelato’s excellent quality and sales record.
In the last twenty years, the sector of semi-finished ingredients has gradually consolidated, and is now made up of around 80 companies employing 1500 staff with total annual sales of over 250 million euros, a figure which has been rising in Italy in recent years (+ 2%-4% per year) and especially abroad (+10% per year). In most cases, the companies are manufacturing firms, which sometimes also operate as subcontractors. Very few of them have their own distribution network.
There are plenty of products in this sector, such as the concentrates made from fresh Italian and imported fruit, oily seed pastes (e.g. hazelnut, pistachio), flavor pastes, texturizers, stabilizers, foaming agents and garnishes. These products enable gelato-makers to provide the consumer with a whole series of advantages: these include the ability to come up with new ideas and a wide variety of flavors, greater seasonal availability and a product with consistent organoleptic properties, controlled and completely preservative-free.
Returning to the figures, the European Union, headed up by Germany, is the main export market, though there is increasing demand from the United States, from Eastern Europe, the Far East and Australia. However, even though both exportation and demand are growing, especially for new flavors, most of the market is still focused on traditional flavors such as lemon, strawberry, chocolate, hazelnut and vanilla.
AIIPA – Products for Gelato Group is the Italian Food Industry Association in Confindustria, the Italian Employers’ Association, and represents manufacturers of ingredients for gelato.
Founded in November 1945, this is one of the main industrial organisations in the sector. It represents various commodities firms both in Italy and elsewhere, including the Products for gelato group and currently has around 300 member firms.
The association belongs to several trade organisations in the EU and at international level.
Within Italy, 24 firms out of a total of 80 are UIF members.
ASSOCIATED UIF companies – Products for Gelato Group
Alvena, Bigatton, Comprital, Fabbri 1905, GEI - Aromitalia, Geldue, Giuso, Granulati Italia,La Città del Gelato, La Preferita, Leagel, Linea Gel Italiana, Mane Italia, Mec3, Meucci Igino, Montebianco, Nestlè Italiana, Nuova Tradizione, Ostificio Prealpino, Pernigotti, Prodotti Stella, Torronalba, Unigel, Unigrà - Martini Linea Gelato.