San Francisco, January 19, 2020 – Made in Italy food and beverage products confirm once again they are market leaders in the USA and at Winter Fancy Food, starting today at the Moscone Center.

For both 2020 events, the Specialty Food Association named Italy its Country Partner: this element will give major visibility to the Italian Pavilion and gain special attention from the trade visitors attending the show. This is an exceptional recognition as it is usually only given during the summer edition. Additionally, it is the first time that a country is re-nominated, as Italy was already Fancy Food Country Partner in 2015.

During the first nine months of 2019, according to the Department of Commerce data, Italian food and beverage export towards the USA amounted to almost 4 billion dollars, increasing by 5.9% compared to 2018. Italy remains the leader in many food and beverage categories, including cheese, olive oil, pasta, mineral water, vinegar, and the USA confirms itself yet again as the first export market outside of the European Union.

The Italian Trade Agency participates at the Winter Fancy Food, held at the Moscone Center, alongside its institutional partners, Federalimentare, Cibus, Tuttofood and Vinitaly, continuing its partnership with the Specialty Food Association and Universal Marketing.

The Italian Pavilion, typically the largest one of the international area, hosts over 60 companies which showcase the entire range of the Made in Italy F&B sector, under the umbrella campaign “The Extraordinary Italian Taste” that promotes authentic Italian foods around the world. In addition, there are another 25 companies in individual booths around the show, totaling over 90 Italian exhibitors, occupying an area of around 12,000 sq ft.

The program that the Italian Trade Agency planned with Federalimentare, Fieramilano, Fiere di Parma and Veronafiere, in support of the WFF 2020 Italian exhibitors consists of the following:

  1. Incoming for 13 hospitality and GDO trade members selected from markets not close to the West Coast;

  2. Show cooking activity in the Italian Lounge (stand 1267), promoting and exhibiting products from the companies in the Italian Pavilion;

  3. Wine Bar curated by Vinitaly International;

  4. Italian Pavilion Graphics showcasing the “The Extraordinary Italian Taste” and “Italy” logos to create a cohesive look and attract the visitors;

  5. Communication activities targeting, via direct-mailing, national trade professionals of the industry inviting them to come visit the Italian exhibitors;

  6. TASTE IT LIVE AREA: a new space, between the North and South Hall, dedicated to the specific promotion of the products that were recently hit by the US tariffs. A chef will present different unbranded cheese and cold cut categories alongside a bartender that will liven up the day with a typical Italian aperitivo in several occasions;

  7. Specialty Food Association Buyer’s Lounge: for the first time, there will be an Italian corner in the Lounge dedicated to the Specialty Food Association members. The Italian Trade Agency will display products from the categories hit by the US tariffs, all unbranded besides the spirits;

  8. NETWORKING DINNER planned for the evening of January 20, at 5:30 pm at the Westin St Francis hotel, close to the Moscone Center. The event will host over 200 persons, including Italian exhibitors, local trade members and press of the sector. During this occasion, the categories hit by the US tariffs will be showcased in a display area.

The promotion of the products hit by the US tariffs was organized in collaboration with Assica, Assolatte and Federvini-Spirits section.

The Italian Trade Agency activities in the USA, started in 2015 with the goal of maximizing the internationalization of Italian products, are based on four main pillars:

  • Communication campaign targeting the American consumer and developing its knowledge of authentic Italian products. During the first year (2015-2016), the campaign “Buy Authentic Italian. Get More” reached around one billion impressions. The following one in 2018, dedicated to the phenomenon of Italian Sounding, utilized a new graphic with the goal of encouraging the consumer to verify the authenticity of the product by reading the label, using the claim “The label says it all”;

  • Partnerships with retailers in the USA expanding to over 10,400 stores, which lead to the introduction of over 900 new Italian suppliers and involved overall 4,800 Italian companies;

  • Incoming to the main Italian exhibitions, in collaboration with Cibus, Tuttofood, Sana, Sigep, Marca and Vinitaly. Since 2015, over 650 American trade professionals and journalists have been invited to participate in these programs;

  • Presence in the main USA fairs: Winter and Summer Fancy Food (in San Francisco and New York) and Chicago’s PLMA dedicated to the private label industry.

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Record-breaking Italy, Winter Fancy Food partner for the second time,
no one has ever received this recognition.

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63 exhibitors with the ITA (Italian Trade Agency) at the largest trade exhibition in
the USA dedicated to private label products destined for major retailers

Chicago - Italy once again will be playing a leading role at the 39th edition of the Private Label Trade Show which opens its doors today at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont (Chicago), IL. This trade exhibition featuring a wide selection of food, beverages, health and beauty and household products manufactured under private brands, is the largest of its kind in North America.

The 63 Italian companies in the Italian Trade Agency’s pavilions occupy an exhibit area measuring 8,000 sq. ft. The official Italian participation is, once again, the largest international pavilion, both in terms of number of exhibiting companies and size of the exhibition area. There are two pavilions, one dedicated to food and beverages, with 57 exhibitors, and a second to non-food products with 6 exhibitors.

The sale in the US through the major retail distribution channels have had a positive effect on the Italian market shares on US imports of agri-food products, notes Marco Saladini, Trade Commissioner of the ITA’s Chicago office. Over the years, the ITA’s promotional activities in this sector have been strengthened to include new types of initiatives, such as customized educational and culinary training course for a wide range of employees of major US supermarket retailers.

In terms of perception, 85% of U.S. consumers believe that the quality of the private label products offered by major retailers is the same as that of brand products, while 61% believe it is higher.  In this context – notes Antonino Laspina, Director of the ITA office in New York and Coordinator of the U.S. Network of offices – Italy’s agri-food exports to the USA is performing tremendously: in the first 9 months of 2019 we have seen an increase of 5.9% compared to the same period last year, reaching 3.9 billion dollars. In 2018 our sales totaled USD 5.1 billion (an increase of 7.9% compared to 2017).

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Boston first, and now Chicago. The Duello ai Fornelli, a culinary challenge among students of the most prestigious American universities, lands in the Midwest from the East Coast. The first edition of the cooking duel took place in 2015, at the behest of the Consulate General of Italy in Boston, organized by the Dante Alighieri School. The challenge has involved, since then, students from Boston University, Harvard, MIT and Northeastern University.

The first Chicago edition of the Duello ai Fornelli is about to take place, and it will be the kickoff event of the Week of Italian Cuisine, an increasingly important appointment coordinated and promoted by the General Consulate of Italy and the Italian Cultural Institute in Chicago. The International Italian School Enrico Fermi (SIEF) in Chicago is organizing the event, with the participation of teams of students from five renowned universities of the Windy City: DePaul University, Loyola University Chicago, Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, and the University of Illinois at Chicago. The teams will face the challenge of preparing the best Risotto al Prosecco, proving that it is possible to eat well, Italian style, even if you are a university student!

The best Risotto will be chosen by a very diverse and accomplished jury, including sponsors of the event, such as Eataly Chicago, as well as a star chef like Giuseppe Tentori, exceptional restaurateurs like Jo DeMonte, representatives of the Italian-American community, such as Liza Turano, and representatives of the Accademia della Cucina Italiana, such as Prof. Clara Orban. The event will take place on November 8, 2019, in Wicker Park, on the premises of SIEF, the Italian International School in Chicago, founded in 2016 as the third Italian school in the United States after The Guglielmo Marconi School in New York and “La Scuola” in San Francisco. The choice of location is not random. Indeed SIEF strives to educate young citizens of the world who are fluent in at least two languages, are comfortable with two cultures, and fully appreciate the traditional Italian attention and care for quality cuisine and excellent food. At lunch time at SIEF you will not find sandwiches eaten on the run…lunch is a true Italian affair, with everyone, teachers and students seated at the table, set with real tablecloths, plates and glasses and, above all, with fresh, healthy, diversified food, naturally inspired by the Mediterranean Diet. Eating well is an important part of SIEF’s education goals, carefully implemented by the dedication of SIEF’s teachers, and made possible by the generous support of Eataly Chicago. Eataly has endorsed SIEF and the school’s goals since the very beginning, providing daily tailored made dishes for all of SIEF’s children who, without any doubt, are the luckiest students in North America!

Chicago, 5 November 2019

For info:

@SIEFchicago on social media


SIEF – Scuola italiana Internazionale Enrico Fermi -

Scuola Italiana Enrico Fermi (SIEFchicago) is the first Italian American International School in the greater Chicago area. Inspired by the Reggio Emilia philosophy, the school opened its early childhood education program with full day preschool for 3 and 4 year-old in September 2016, in Wicker Park – Bucktown neighborhoods of Chicago, Illinois. In 2018 SIEF opened its first kindergarten class. Scuola Italiana Enrico Fermi plans to expand with each subsequent year up to 8th grade


Link to the event “Duello ai Fornelli”:

Partners and Sponsors:

Italian General Consulate in Chicago –

Italian Institute of Culture in Chicago

Italian-American Chamber of Commerce in Chicago and Ciao Chicago

Eataly, Barilla, Ferrero Nutella Cafe, Mionetto, Rana e Smeraldina

Universita’ che partecipano all’iniziativa:

DePaul University, Loyola University Chicago, Northwestern University, University of Chicago, University of Illinois at Chicago.

Settimana della Cucina Italiana nel Mondo – 4° week of the Italian Cuisine in the World


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Record-breaking Italy, Fancy Food partner for the second time,
no one has ever received this recognition.

NEW YORK (October 29, 2019) – The Specialty Food Association is proud to announce that Italy will be the PARTNER COUNTRY for both of this year’s Fancy Food Shows:

  • Winter Fancy Food Show, January 19 to 21, 2020, at the Moscone Center in San Francisco

  • Summer Fancy Food Show, June 28 to 30, 2020, at the Jacob Javits Convention Center, New York

Italy’s achievement is an absolute first, no one has ever received this recognition from the Specialty Food Association, the show’s owner and produer.

The Specialty Food Association is the largest food network in the United States, founded in 1952 in New York, by importers and business owners. It is a non-profit association with 3,000 members in the United States and abroad.

The Fancy Food Show is the largest trade event dedicated to specialty foods in North America and many industry workers consider its New York summer edition to be among the top food shows in the world.

Italy was already the partner country in 2015, but just for the Summer show, and in 2016 for the Winter show; now it will be the partner country for all of 2020.

This is the first time that a country has the opportunity to be the partner country twice.

Under the banner, “The Extraordinary Italian Taste,” food companies from nearly every region in Italy will present the excellence of Authentic Italian Food to the world of restaurants, print retails and stakeholders.

“We are very privileged that Italy will be the first country to partner with us for both Winter and Summer Shows in 2020,” said Phil Kafarakis, SFA’s president. “The popularity of Italian cuisine in the U.S. is undeniable. Historically, among our dozens of international participants at Fancy Food Shows over the years, Italy has routinely hosted the largest pavilion. At our Summer Show in 2019, the Italian pavilion covered over 24,000 square feet!

Americans love Italian cuisine and Italian specialty foods have played an important historic role in expanding the appetite for global flavors in the United States. Today, even as we see expanding disruption in consumer eating habits, authentic and innovative Italian products continue to be influential across all channels. We’re excited to see what they will be bringing to the 2020 Fancy Food Shows.” Phil Kafarakis concludes

At the Winter Fancy Food Show 2020, Italy will be present with more than 60 companies. declares Maurizio Forte, Director of the ICE Agency in New York and Coordinator of the USA network

Once again, we will be the most numerous country pavilion, thanks to the consolidated alliance between ICE Agency, Specialty Food Association and Universal Marketing.

The entire range of authentic Italian products will be on display: cheese, pasta, prosciutto and salumi, olive oil, preserves, condiments, desserts, mineral waters and much more.

The intensive cooking show program hosted by the ICE Lounge will allow visitors to enjoy Italian products right there and then and appreciate the innovation capacity of our companies.

Being nominated 2020 Country-Partner by the show organizers is an honor: Maurizio Forte concludes a recognition for always being the country with the highest number of exhibitors and, also, for the excellence of the products our exhibitors bring to the show.

The teamwork of Italian institutions with SFA and its exclusive agent for Italy Universal Marketing offers, edition after edition, new stimuli and opportunities for the promotion of the authentic Made in Italy on the US market.

Italian food represents a standard of excellence in the United States,” states Donato Cinelli, President of Universal Marketing, exclusive agent for Italy of the Specialty Food Association.

Italy is the largest international pavilion at the Fancy Food Shows, and through the years it has contributed in no small measure to the show’s strength and quality.

When, 25 years ago, we accepted the challenge, and we took part in creating the Italy pavilion within the Summer Fancy Food in New York,” Cinelli continues, “we never thought even for a moment that we would be able to reach these goals.

To announce today, from New York, that Italy will be the partner country for Fancy Food for all of 2020 is beyond our wildest expectations.

We’re very proud of this,” Cinelli concludes. “Step by step, we’ve seen the growth of Italian business owners, districts and consortiums, which over time have understood the importance of telling their product’s story; today America is fascinated by stories of Made in Italy quality and success.

Thanks, first of all, to our partners, such as the Specialty Food Association, ICE, Federalimentare, Cibus, TuttoFood and Vinitaly, with whom we’ve created a winning team over the years.”

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