As usual, Italian food products were the talk of the town at the Fancy Food Show. In addition to the 350 Italian companies showcasing their wares, companies from almost every other country also featured products which could be mistaken for Italian products by the uninformed consumer. Brazil offered a Panettone, a traditional Italian dessert generally eaten around the Christmas holidays. The logo of the Brazilian brand was so similar to the very famous Le Tre Marie brand that unless one looked closely they might have thought the brands were identical.
Chile, Argentina, Canada, the United States and almost every other nation, offered tomato products, oils, pastas, coffee and the like. While one could be flattered that the world has so wholeheartedly embraced the culture, it can also be an economic disadvantage to Italian manufacturers and artisans if products are sold that do not make it clear that they are not from Italy. The products offered at the Fancy Food show are clearly from different countries but in an average food shop, how does a consumer know the difference? Should there be national flags attached to products? How would that work? Ingredients come from all over the world so it would be difficult to identify what is and is not entirely from one country. However, perhaps a better system of traceability will be a future help to nations trying to export their own goods.
In a recent interview with I-Italy, Aniello Musella, Director of the Italian Trade Commission in North America, discussed the economic impact of “non-authentic” Italian products on Italian exports.
Food for thought….