Rome - The Italian Trade Agency ICE and the giant U.S.A multinational retailing corporation Walmart Stores Inc. have formalised a new deal to promote Italian wines and agri-food products in the U.S. The agreement was signed on May 9 in Milan during the "Tutto Food" Fair, now in its fifth edition, by the President of ICE, Michele Scannavini and Walmart Dry Grocery Vice President, Silvia Kawas.
The deal will bring about a yearly increase of approx. 16 percent of products purchased by Walmart. It marks yet another success of the promotion strategy undertaken by ICE on request of the Ministry of Economic Development. Exports of Italian food products and wine to the U.S. have reached 4.6 billion dollars, up four percent from 2015. It is a remarkable result that can be ascribed above all to: ice cream (+34,5%), sweet goods and cocoa products (+31.5%), pickled vegetables (+9.2%), rice (+8.8%), olive oil (+6.6%), wine (+6.6%), and fresh fruit and vegetables (+4.9%).
Italy ranks first in the U.S. regarding the volume of exports of wine, olive oil, cheese, pasta, bottled water and soft drinks. However the 'Italian sounding' phenomenon, which is still very widespread, with 24 billion euros of goods sold in North and Central America, will now be challenged also by the authentic Italian products sold at Walmart. The overarching goal of the present deal is to disseminate knowledge about the excellence of true Italian products among the retailer's clients, thus increasing the sales of such products.
The agreement has a one year validity and can be renewed. It envisages the retailing of products through the Walmart retailer network which has over 3,600 shops in the U.S.; the creation of a line of products directly imported from Italy and carrying the Walmart brand; the organisation of missions of Walmart buyers to Italy by the ICE in order to find new products to be displayed on the shelves; and the use of the "Extraordinary Italian Taste" logos on every promotional and marketing material (signs, labels, brochures, online ads, etc.) at Walmart stores.