Bon appétit: Serving great food and old wine the Italian way

Bon appétit: Serving great food and old wine the Italian way

By BHUMIKA POPLI | | 7 May, 2016
An array of Italian wine brands.

Franz Kafka has rightly said, “So long as you have food in your mouth, you have solved all questions for the time being.” Yes, food does that sort of magic that you forget all your worries. It makes you feel relaxed, free from everyday tensions. You get your head clear from all sorts of concerns after having had a satiating plateful.

If you want to consume healthy and fine food products especially made from Italy, Italian Trade Agency (ITA) has recently brought together the business heads of major food and wine brands to seek business opportunities in India. 

 The Italian Trade Commission in New Delhi, namely the Trade Promotion Office of the Italian Embassy, organized a workshop on fine Italian food and wine called “The Sweet Taste: Business Opportunities and Perspectives for Italian Food and Wine in India”, on 27 April at the capital’s Leela Palace. The initiative falls under the umbrella of the programme called “Italy: The Extraordinary Commonplace”. The Director/ Trade Commissioner Dr Francesco Pensabene said, “The workshop aims to promote the concept of Italian food and wine, spread knowledge and showcase new ways of expanding the Italian products in the Indian market, thereby creating awareness about fine Italian products and promoting Italian companies to explore new business avenues in India and foster an even stronger cooperation with Indian companies.”

Italian gourmet food and cuisine are one of the most highly recognised and most traditional of all ethnic cooking traditions.

The workshop featured some of the most renowned and most knowledgeable names from the agro-food and wine sector in Italy and India as speakers, and catered to an audience of some of the most important importers, distributors, buyers, associations, hotel chains, catering chains, chefs, sommeliers and other major players in the Food and Wine sector in India. There were sessions conducted by both Indian and Italian experts on olive oil, fruits and wines. To give an Italian essence to the workshop, there was a live cooking demonstration by an Italian chef and wine tasting comprising some of the most exquisite Italian wines and prosecco. 

The workshop provided great insight into Indo-Italian business relations in the food and wine sectors.

Italian gourmet food and cuisine is one of the most highly recognised and most traditional of all ethnic cooking traditions. Italian cookery has exotic elements that have been handed down from Roman times, Italy’s proximity to the mountains and the ocean adds a brilliant variety of ingredients to Italian gastronomy. Italian cheese making is superb producing some of the highest quality gourmet cheese in the world. The famous Italian gourmet truffles from the Piedoment and ALBA regions are some of the best the world has to offer.

Italy has been called “the land of wines” for thousands of years. Its geographical location, its mountain ranges, hilly territory and seas creates the perfect climate for wine production. Wine is one of the primary products of the Italian food model in the world. Italy exports to 165 markets. and happens to have some of the the greatest number of Unesco heritage sites (49) with wine being produced in many of them. One can safely say that wine is part of the Italian Cultural Heritage. The leading wine growing country in the world has a worldwide wine production of about 27 billion liters. Here, in this country the vineyards are uninterruptedly scattered throughout the territory, from North to South. Also, the wine grape growing farms are in several thousands.

In terms of export, 2015 ended with a value increase of 5.4% compared to 2014 and with pretty much stable amounts. One can say that there is a bottle for every occasion as Italy supplies the world with a very broad range of wine brands. These include young and fresh white and rose wines, sparkling and spumante wines, so forth. The latter in particular increased their ale production abroad by over 17% in 2015. The turnover of Italian wines sales abroad grew from 13.6 billion euros in 2007 to 15 billion at the end of 2015. Add to this, an extra 2.5 billion Euros coming from the technology sector , namely the  wine making machinery, products and accessories. There are specific cellars designed for production and for visits.

In terms of retail business, India is a feasible market for imports from Italy. Indian economy is strong which makes it resilient to crisis. Also, the country is home to a presence of 200 million consumers. And, we all know that the young, specially from nuclear families are open to change. So, with high disposable income, there is a willingness to spend. Indians welcome international cusines which are niche to mainstream, hence it goes without saying that Italian wine and food companies will have a flourishing business here. After all, India is the 12th largest food consumer and the projected ranking says it will be the 5th largest consumer food market by 2025.

 

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