The Italian gelato conquers Asia and North America

The Italian Exhibition Group’s Observatory outlines a map of the most dynamic international markets for the Italian gelato


The Observatory by Sigep – which will be held at Rimini expo centre in Italy from 22nd to 26th January – reveals the most dynamic markets for the Italian gelato: Asia and North America. The export of ingredients and semi-finished products travels on the routes to China and South East Asia and is also growing in the Middle East; the production machinery goes abroad, with a recovery of the German market and an exploit in South Korea. Also the foreign brands are growing all over the world.
“Meteoropathic”, the Italian gelato is so defined, because it follows good weather at all latitudes and, if in the 2019 it rose by 6% on the previous 4-year period, now from there re-started, targeting Eastern markets, as Roberto Leardini, president of the Gruppo Prodotti per Gelato of Unione Italiana Food observes.
From China and South East Asia signs of interest are arriving, also from the United States and Europe. In particular, the European market accounts for a total of approximately 60% of our production figures: Spain is the third European market, after Germany, for artisan gelato, the potential of which is linked with the tourism economy; Poland is also interesting. “What is needed now is well-organized supported promotion, starting from the ITA Italian Trade Agency and reaching the companies, passing through the Chambers of Commerce”, concludes Leardini.

Coffee cascara gelato by Alessandro Conte. Published in “TuttoGelato” magazine and online at

Machinery wanted

ACOMAG, the association that unites the Italian manufacturers of machinery for gelato parlours, is waiting for a double-digit leap. Between production machinery, refrigerated counters and display cases, 75% of the professional technology manufactured in Italy for gelato parlours leaves the country. 2021 is showing positive signs from Germany and South Korea. The sector got a boost from the incentives for Industry 4.0, but “we are coming out of a period in which, between 2019 and 2020, on average, we lost between 30 and 35% of the production”, as they explain.


A growth of 6% for chains

For every point of sale opened abroad, over a ten-year period, there is a knock-on effect of over 500,000 euros in machinery, showcases, equipment and ingredients for our production chains. If the pandemic had not occurred, the sector’s growth would without doubt have been even higher, considering that investments, between direct openings and franchises, are planned at least a year in advance. As Antonio Verga Falzacappa, founder of Sistema Gelato, explains.
From a monitoring carried out on the Top International Gelato Chains network, with over 600 points of sale in 30 nations, states, in the last 18 months there has been an increase of 6%, equal to 36 units at world level. Worthy of note is the dynamism of brands such as the American (but with solid Italian roots) Gelato Go, and the Italians Venchi and La Romana, which are growing respectively in the Far East and the Middle East. Lastly, and there is the case of Spain’s Borgonesse, which has about ten points of sale between Madrid and Andalusia.




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